Photo by Deborah Lowery

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

Jennifer’s plays are produced by theaters and schools across the U.S. and internationally. Her full-length plays include Fertile Ground (2022 Semifinalist: O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Prince Grace/New Dramatists Fellowship and Panndora’s Box); Charlotte’s Letters (Rising Artist Playwriting Award; 1st Place Henley Rose Award; O’Neill Semifinalist and other honors); Paranormal Love (MTWorks Newborn Award; NEWvember Finalist; Pandora’s Box Honorable Mention and other honors); Ellery (Bechdel Group selection); Juggling with Mr. Fields (Southwest Theatre Productions Finalist) and more. Her work is published in multiple editions of the annual Best Ten-Minute PlaysBest New Ten-Minute Plays and Best Women’s Stage Monologues, among other anthologies. Her plays have been presented by The Irish Rep, The Barrow Group, 6th Street Playhouse, 13th Street Theater, Attic Salt Theatre, NEWvember Festival Dublin, The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival, Short + Sweet, Rover Dramawerks, Weathervane Playhouse, Lakeshore Players, Gi60 (US and UK), Heartland Theatre Company, The Playhouse at White Lake, Brave New World Rep, Valley Players, Playzoomers and many others. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and a playwriting alum of the Kennedy Center’s Playwriting Intensive and AWP’s Writer2Writer Program.

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 (Plume Editions/MadHat Press). Her poems are published in numerous places, including Poetry, Harper’s, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, Plume, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Georgia Review and American Poetry: The Next Generation (to name just a few). Her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, BBC Radio 4 and Spokane Public Radio, among other places. Jennifer’s poem “Moths” (included in White) has been widely shared and reprinted and is set 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 has worked in publishing and nonprofit literary arts, first at The Academy of American Poets and later as Program Director of the National Writer’s Voice/YMC National Writer’s Voice. She lives with her family, two dogs and two cats just outside New York City.

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