Photo by Deborah Lowery

Jennifer O’Grady is an award-winning playwright and poet. She grew up in New York City and 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 across the U.S. and internationally. Her full-length plays include Fertile Ground (2022 Semifinalist: O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Prince Grace Playwriting Award/New Dramatists Fellowship); Charlotte’s Letters (2020 Rising Artist Playwriting Award; 1st Place Henley Rose Award; O’Neill Semifinalist and other honors); Paranormal Love (MTWorks Newborn Award; NEWvember Finalist; 2019 Pandora’s Box runner-up and other honors); Ellery (2019 Bechdel Group selection); Juggling with Mr. Fields (2020 Southwest Theatre Productions Finalist) and more. Her short plays are published in multiple editions of the annual Best Ten-Minute Plays and Best New Ten-Minute Plays, including the 2021 volumes of each. Her work is also included in multiple editions of the annual Best Women’s Stage Monologues as well as Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35, Stage It! 3: Twenty Ten-Minute Plays, some scripts literary magazineFeels Blind Literary, The Covid Monologues and other publications. Jennifer’s plays have been presented by The Irish Rep, 16th Street Playhouse, Attic Salt Theatre, Brave New World Rep, the NEWvember Festival Dublin, The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival, Rover Dramawerks, Weathervane Playhouse, Short + Sweet, Heartland Theatre Company, Lakeshore Players Theatre, Gi60, PlayZoomers, Rockford New Words and many more. In 2018 she was selected for AWP’s Writer2Writer Program, and in 2021 for the Kennedy Center’s Playwriting Intensive.

As a poet, Jennifer 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, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Plume, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and American Poetry: The Next Generation (to name just a few). Her poems have been broadcast by The Writer’s Almanac, Spokane Public Radio and BBC Radio 4, and have been used in educational settings from UC Berkeley to Internet sites like Thesaurus.com. Jennifer’s poem “Moths” (included in White) is widely shared and reprinted and has 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 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 near 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