Leland Bardwell was born in India of Irish parents in 1922, and returned to Ireland at two years old. She grew up in Leixlip, Co. Kildare and was educated in Dublin. She married in 1948 but later separated from her husband. She is the mother of six children.
Her poetry collections include The Mad Cyclist (1970), The Fly and the Bedbug (1984), Dostoevsky’s Grave/New and Selected Poems (1991) and the White Beach (1998), The Noise of Masonry Settling (2006). Individual poems have been translated into five European languages, including Hebrew.
Her novels are Girl on a Bicycle (1977), That London Winter (1981), The House (1984), There We Have Been (1989) and Mother to a Stranger (2002, trans. German). Her short story collection: Different Kinds of Love (1986), was translated into German and French . Her plays include The Life of Edith Piaf, Olympia (1985). Later went on tour: Thursday, Trinity Players Theatre, Open Ended Prescription, Peacock, and BBC Radio, Jocasta, The Hawks Well Theatre, Sligo (2000), Also on the Rocks, Edge of Atlantic and Limerick Theatre. She has written other plays for BBC and radio plus some children’s plays for RTÉ.
She won the Marten Toonder Award in 1992 and is a founding editor of the literary journal, Cyphers. She lived in Co. Sligo where she founded the annual literary festival, Scriobh at the Model Arts and Niland Gallery in 1993.