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 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, NRP, Poetry Daily, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, Plume 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. Her poem “Moths” will be featured on BBC Radio 4 in June 2019.
Jennifer’s plays have been produced and developed in the U.S. and in Dublin, Ireland. Her first play, Charlotte’s Letters, won the Henley Rose Award and the NEWvember New Plays Festival Dublin competition and was a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference and BETC’s Generations Award. Her subsequent plays include Paranormal Love (Winner: MTWorks NewBorn Festival; Finalist: NEWvember Festival); Persephone (Winner: Heartland Theatre Company’s 10-Minute Play Contest), Ellery (selected for The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2017), Juggling with Mr. Fields (nominated for The Kilroys List) and many others. Her plays have been staged by the Irish Repertory Theatre (as part of its New Works series), Rover Dramawerks, Heartland Theatre Company, The Bechdel Group, Monster Box Theatre, White Mouse Theatre Productions, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, AboutFace Ireland, 29th Street Playwrights Collective, Wild Rumpus Productions, Yellow Rose Productions, Manhattan Theatre Works and other companies, and have advanced in many other competitions including Talk Back Theatre, the Austin Film Festival Playwriting Award, Gulfshore Playhouse’s New Works Festival, Town Hall Theatre’s Playwrights’ Cagematch and The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep. Her plays are published or forthcoming in 30 New Ten-Minute Plays (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books), The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2017 and 2014 (Smith and Kraus), The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017 and 2016 (Smith and Kraus), Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35 (Applause) and Stage It’s Award-Winning Ten-Minute Plays Anthology. In 2018 Jennifer was selected as a mentee in playwriting by AWP’s Writer2Writer Program.
Jennifer has worked in publishing and directed nonprofit literary programs for the YMCA National Writer’s Voice and The Academy of American Poets in New York. She lives near New York City with her husband, son, and daughter, two dogs, two cats, and a rabbit.