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 publications including Harper’s, The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, The Yale Review and American Poetry: The Next Generation, to name a few. Her poem “Moths” has been widely reprinted and featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, Spokane Public Radio’s Poetry Moment, and BBC Radio 4’s “Four Season: Summer” broadcast read by Juliet Stevenson. “Moths” has also been set to music by composer Robert Paterson and premiered with American Modern Ensemble at New York’s Tully Hall. 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 by theaters across the U.S. and U.K. Her plays include Charlotte’s Letters (Henley Rose Award Winner; NEWvember Festival Dublin; Semifinalist: O’Neill Playwrights Conference and other honors); Paranormal Love (MTWorks NewBorn Festival; NEWvember Finalist; Pandora’s Box runner-up); Ellery (selected for The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2017 and a Bechdel Group selection); and Persephone (published in The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2019). Her plays have also been presented by Rover Dramawerks, Monster Box Theatre, The Hive Collaborative, 6t Street Playhouse, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, Gi60, The PlayGround Experiment, St. Paul’s Arts Council, LowellArts Theater and many other theaters, as well as off-Broadway by the Irish Repertory Theatre. Her plays are also published or forthcoming 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 (Smith and Kraus), Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35  (Applause), Stage It 3, The PlayGround Experiment’s Faces of America Monologue anthology, and Feels Blind Literary.

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.

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