Plume Editions, 2018

Inventive and exquisitely crafted, these poems mine marriage, infertility, and motherhood, along with politics, art, religion and the natural world to probe the meaning of responsibility and the many aspects of love. Poems within have won awards and appeared in Poetry, The New Republic, Plume, Salamander (Pushcart nomination), Southwest Review, Tar River Poetry (Pushcart nomination), Poetry Daily, Green Mountains Review, Verse Daily and many other places.

Available at:
MadHat Press | Amazon | IndieBound


Thursday, November 15th
Jennifer O’Grady, Guillermo Filice Castro and Anne Elliott
KGB BAR, 85 East 4th Street, NYC

Saturday, June 16th
Jennifer O’Grady and Elizabeth Cohen,
Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Lynn McGee
MAX FISH, 120 Orchard Street, NYC

Praise for Exclusions & Limitations

“O’Grady excels in introducing new elements to the poem on the page. Her arrangements influence meaning and she navigates space without losing tempo… This work, these poems, are strong and soft. A rare combination.” – Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books

“The poems’ highly relatable themes, atmospheric details, and clear language draw us in as readers, carrying us along on their thought trails. Compassionate, elegant, edgy, and intelligent, these poems are deeply moving.” – Eileen Murphy, Rain Taxi

“Underneath and sometimes literally between O’Grady’s assured and subtly measured lines lurk dangers and ‘damages may not be covered.’ Our lives are not conceived with warranties, and this poet views seemingly benign moments—a game of handball, a school bus departing, snapping a child’s photo—with a keen maternal prescience that exposes them as fraught with foreboding. Moving edgily from catastrophe to the mysteriousness of love itself, O’Grady shows how to bear the unknowable and carry on in the midst of warnings in poems as classic as Cassandra and as contemporary as today’s headlines.” – Jeanne Marie Beaumont

“O’Grady’s exact, exacting language is always up to her descriptive, meditative task, while able also to bring to life a narrative-laden feminist landscape—familiar, mysterious, politically alert—as in the repeated evocation of famous painted Annunciations. Excavating moments in marriage and motherhood, she can also move to moments of prayer, the kind of courageous prayer these poems deserve: sharp-sighted, probing and pondering the ordinary adventure of life and its extraordinary hunger for what is to be loved, what is to survive: to find ‘gain not loss,’ even in what in any family is always passing.” – Eamon Grennan

“Jennifer O’Grady’s Exclusions & Limitations conjures the sort of dream world that follows you after you’re awake. The speaker herself is numinous, recounting desire and its cost from some inevitable Purgatory. The collection’s controlling metaphor is the mixed blessing of the Annunciation: ‘She will always be / at a disadvantage, needing proof, / needing pain to make everything / clear, and even the life / already growing inside her / is unbelievable, until it nearly / tears her apart.’ The carefully wrought sonic texture, the range of styles from prose poem to lyric, narrative to alliterative abecedarian induces an orchestral intensity. This is a book that refuses to go away after it’s been placed back on the shelf. – John Hoppenthaler

“What is clear in Jennifer O’Grady’s daring second book of poems is that there are no limitations to this poet’s imagination…O’Grady demonstrates the most admirable poetic dimensionality and ingenuity —breadth and depth, intellectual edge—with grace and levity to boot. Herein, find wonderment and horror entangling with wit and curiosity. Exclusions & Limitations is a grand poetic performance of a bright mind and marvelous, fine-tuned heart.” – Elizabeth Cohen, Assoc. Prof. of English, SUNY Plattsburgh, author of Bird Light, The Family on Beartown Road & other books

“There are glittering sections of language dispersed throughout the pieces like glass shattered atop a sidewalk…These little gems of language are exactly why readers should take their time when perusing O’Grady’s poetry.” – Laura DeNovis Berry


Mid-List Press First Series Award for Poetry
Greenwall Fund Award, The Academy of American Poets

Poems in White appeared originally in Poetry, Harper’s, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Yale Review, The Southern Review, The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor and many other places.

Available at: Amazon

Praise for White

“I love the mixture of edginess and calm that marks these poems, how their richness of texture and color is married to a compelling immediacy of address . . . Jennifer O’Grady’s language reveals a speaking consciousness at ease among the split-level dimensions of its own exacting and alert awareness. White is a lovely, mature first collection.”
Eamon Grennan

“Jennifer O’Grady’s first collection deservedly won the Mid-List First Series Award for Poetry. It is a slim volume, which reveals a wide range of interests and perspectives of her writer’s universe. She moves easily from the work of the ‘Moths’ with their ‘curious filaments’ and their ability to leave woolens ‘full of missing pieces’ to subjects such as ‘Susannah and the Elders’ (reference to a painting by Gentileschi), in which she speaks of ‘anguish dressed in baroque repose’ and explores the projected emotions of a woman with a rape in her past as she watches the moment of decision in Susannah’s eternal present. It is this pattern of juxtaposing one view against another or of turning one way of thinking into its opposite—or at least its ‘other’—which makes her mark . . . In White there is glittering intelligence focused often on the way art reflects the workings of the heart.”
Anne Marie Oomen, ForeWord

Jennifer’s poems have also been published in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies.