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 have been published in numerous places, including Harper’s, The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, The Georgia Review, Plume and American Poetry: The Next Generation, to name a few. Her poems have also been selected for The Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, BBC Radio 4 and Spokane Public Radio, among other venues. Her poem “Moths” has been widely reprinted and shared and is also 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 (2020 Rising Artists Award; 1st Place Henley Rose Award; NEWvember Festival Dublin; O’Neill Semifinalist and other honors); Paranormal Love (MTWorks NewBorn Winner; NEWvember Finalist; 2019 Pandora’s Box runner-up); Ellery (selected for The Best Women’s Stage Monologues and a 2019 Bechdel Group Workshop selection); Juggling with Mr. Fields (Applause Premiere Club and a Kilroys noninee); Persephone, published in The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2019) and “Most Wonderful,” selected for The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2021. Her plays have been produced across the U.S. and in Europe and have been developed nationally and internationally, including off-Broadway by the Irish Rep. Additional publications include The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017 and The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2016 (Smith and Kraus), The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2014 (Smith and Kraus), Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35 (Applause), Stage It! 3: Twenty Ten-Minute Plays, The PlayGround Experiment’s Faces of America Monologue Anthology and Feels Blind Literary. In 2018 Jennifer was selected as 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 just outside New York City with her husband, son and daughter, two dogs, two cats and a rabbit.