Renowned Irish novelist, poet, essayist, short story writer and Maynooth alumna, Mary O’Donnell will perform a reading in the John Paul II Library on Tuesday 2 April at 18:30 The event is free but booking is essential. To book: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: (01)7086445 by Friday 29 March.
This is the inaugural reading in an annual reading series hosted by the Library. Each year a Maynooth University alumnus with an international reputation in creative writing will be invited to deliver this reading.
Graduating in 1977 with a degree in German and Philosophy, Mary O'Donnell was awarded a Higher Diploma in Education (1st class honours) in 1983.
She is one of Ireland’s best known contemporary authors. Her seven poetry collections include Spiderwoman’s Third Avenue Rhapsody (1993) Unlegendary Heroes (1998) both with Salmon Poetry, and Those April Fevers (Ark Publications, 2015). Her poetry is also available in Hungarian. Four novels include The Light Makers (reissued in 2017), Where They Lie (2014) and The Elysium Testament. A volume of essays on her work by various academics and scholars, and called Giving Shape to the Moment: the Art of Mary O’Donnell appeared from Peter Lang last June. Her new short story collection, Empire, was published by Arlen House in 2018 and described in an Irish Times Review as follows:
" . . . passionate stories that reveal the complex dynamics of human relationships, the private struggle for self-determination and the public one for political freedom by both men and women in a colonial past".
Her essay, “My Mother in Drumlin Country”, published in New Hibernia Review during 2017, was listed among the Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2017 in Best American Essays 2018 (Mariner).
She lectures and gives readings both in Ireland and internationally, most recently at the University of Sao Paolo Brazil, where she also led the MA seminars in Irish literature. She has also taught creative writing at Maynooth University, Galway University, and for eleven years on Carlow University Pittsburgh’s MFA in Creative Writing. Mary O’Donnell is a member of Ireland’s multi-disciplinary artists’ organization, Aosdana and has just completed a PhD in Creative Writing at University College Cork.