Photo by Deborah Lowery

Jennifer O’Grady is an award-winning playwright and poet. Born and raised in New York City, she earned a BA from Vassar, where she won awards for her writing, and an MFA in poetry from Columbia University.

As a poet, she is the author of White, winner of the Mid-List 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. Jennifer’s poems are taught, anthologized and featured in numerous places, including Harper’s, The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, The Yale Review, Plume, Verse Daily and American Poetry: The Next Generation (to name a few). Her poem “Moths” has been widely reprinted and featured on The Writer’s Almanac, Spokane Public Radio and BBC Radio 4’s “Four Season: Summer” broadcast read by Juliet Stevenson. “Moths” has also been set to music by composer Robert Paterson. Jennifer’s other poetry honors include a Billee Murray Denny Award, a W. K. Rose Fellowship and Pushcart Prize nominations. 

Jennifer began writing plays in midlife while raising her two children. Her plays include Charlotte’s Letters Rising Artists Award; Henley Rose Award; NEWvember Festival Dublin;  O’Neill Semifinalist and other honors); Paranormal Love (MTWorks NewBorn Winner; NEWvember Finalist; Pandora’s Box runner-up); Ellery (selected for The Best Women’s Stage Monologues and a Bechdel Group selection); and Persephone (published in The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2019). Her plays have won many competitions and have been performed across the U.S. and U.K., as well as in Asia and other parts of Europe. Producing theaters include Rover Dramawerks, 6th Street Playhouse, The Hive Collaborative, Gi60, OnStage Atlanta, Lowell Arts Theater, Kairos Italy Theater and many others. Her plays have also been developed by various theaters including off-Broadway by the Irish Rep. Her work is also published in The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2021, The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017, The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2016The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2014, Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35, Stage It! 3: Twenty Ten-Minute PlaysThe PlayGround Experiment’s Faces of America Monologue Anthology and Feels Blind Literary. In 2018 she was selected 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. She lives near New York City with her husband, son and daughter, two dogs, two cats and a rabbit.

Read about Jennifer at The Poetry Foundation
Find Jennifer on the New Play Exchange
Find Jennifer at 365 Women a Year: A Playwriting Project