Jennifer O’Grady is an award-winning playwright and poet. Born to an Irish father and Italian-American mother, she grew up in New York City and earned a BA from Vassar, where she won awards for her writing, and an MFA from Columbia University.
As a poet, she is the author of White, winner of the Mid-List Press First Series Award for Poetry and a Greenwall Award from The Academy of American Poets, and Exclusions & Limitations, published in 2018 by the Plume Editions/MadHat Press. Her poems have been taught, anthologized, set to music and featured in numerous places including Harper’s, The New Republic, Poetry, The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, Poetry Daily, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Yale Review and American Poetry: The Next Generation, to name a few. She is the recipient of a Billee Murray Denny Award, a W. K. Rose Fellowship, and Pushcart Prize nominations, among other honors.
As a playwright, she is the author of Charlotte’s Letters (Winner: 2018 Henley Rose Award; 2017 NEWvember New Plays Festival Dublin; Semifinalist: Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference; BETC’s Generations Award); Paranormal Love (Winner: MTWorks NewBorn Festival; Finalist: NEWvember Festival); Persephone (Winner: Heartland Theatre Company’s 2018 10-Minute Play Contest and forthcoming in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2018) and other plays. Her plays have been produced or developed by the Irish Repertory Theatre, Rover Dramawerks, Heartland Theatre, Monster Box Theatre, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, AboutFace Ireland, Wild Rumpus Productions, Yellow Rose Productions, Manhattan Theatre Works and other theaters, and are published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2018, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2017, The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017, The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2016, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2014 (all Smith and Kraus) and Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35 (Applause Theater & Cinema Books). She is a Member of the Dramatists Guild, ICWP, and 365 Women a Year: A Playwriting Project. One of her most cherished awards is Best Actress, received for a small non-speaking role in her New York City high school’s contest play.
Jennifer has worked in publishing and directed nonprofit literary programs for the YMCA National Writer’s Voice and The Academy of American Poets. She lives near New York City with her husband, son, and daughter, two dogs, two cats, and a rabbit.