Jennifer O’Grady is an award-winning playwright and poet. Born to an Italian-American mother and an Irish father, 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.
She is the author of the poetry collections White, winner of the Mid-List Press First Series Award for Poetry and a Greenwall Fund grant from The Academy of American Poets, and Exclusions & Limitations (MadHat Press, 2018). Her poems have been taught, set to music, and published in numerous places including Harper’s, The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, The Yale Review and American Poetry: The Next Generation. She is the recipient of a Billee Murray Denny Award, a W. K. Rose Fellowship, and Pushcart Prize nominations, among other honors.
Her plays include Charlotte’s Letters (Winner: Henley Rose Award; NEWvember New Plays Festival Dublin; Semifinalist: O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference; BETC’s Generations Award); Paranormal Love (Winner: MTWorks NewBorn Festival; Finalist: NEWvember Festival); Persephone (Winner: Heartland Theatre Company’s 10-Minute Play Contest; Semifinalist: Little Fish Theatre’s Pick of the Vine); Ellery (published in The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2017); Quasars (published in The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2014 and Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35) and Juggling with Mr. Fields (nominated for The Kilroys List). Her work has been produced or developed by the Irish Repertory Theatre, Rover Dramawerks, Monster Box Theatre, Wild Rumpus Productions, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, AboutFace Dublin, Twilight Theatre Productions and other theaters. Her plays First Day in Trade and The Great Gaffe are published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017 and The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2016, respectively. Jennifer is a Member of the Dramatists Guild 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 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.