Photo by Deborah Lowery
Jennifer O’Grady is an American 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 have appeared in numerous places, including Harper’s, The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Plume, Southwest Review and American Poetry: The Next Generation, to name a few. Her poetry has also appeared on The Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, BBC Radio 4, Spokane Public Radio and in Bustle, among many other places. Her poem “Moths” has been widely shared and is 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’s plays have been produced and developed across the U.S. as well as in the U.K., Ireland, Italy and Australia. Her full-length plays include Charlotte’s Letters (Rising Artists Award; 1st Place Henley Rose Award; NEWvember Festival Dublin; O’Neill Semifinalist and other honors); Paranormal Love (MTWorks Newborn Winner; NEWvember Finalist; Pandora’s Box Honorable Mention; Southwest Theatre Productions Semifinalist); Juggling with Mr. Fields (Southwest Theatre Productions Finalist); and Ellery (included in The Best Women’s Stage Monologues and a Bechdel Group selection). Her short plays have won Audience-Choice Awards and short-play competitions and are published or forthcoming in The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2021 and 2019 (Applause); The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2021, 2017 and 2016 (Smith and Kraus), Stage It 3 (2019) and other anthologies. Her work is also published in Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35, The PlayGround Experiment’s Faces of America Anthology, Feels Blind Literary and elsewhere. In 2018 she was selected Mentee in Playwriting by AWP’s Writer2Writer Program and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ICWP, 365 Women a Year and Honor Roll Playwrights.
Jennifer has worked in publishing and directed 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.