Mary Dorcey


Mary Dorcey (born October 1950) is an award winning writer and poet whose books broke new ground in Ireland in the representation of feminist and gay lives. She has won critical acclaim for her portrayal of romantic and erotic relationships between women and also her subversive and tender view of the mother/daughter dynamic.[2][3]

Two of her books of fiction: ‘A Noise from the Woodshed.’ and ‘Biography of Desire.’ are included in ‘The Greatest Book List Ever.’ ed. Robert Lindsay. Classic Books of the Past One Hundred Years.

She has published ten books in all, seven poetry collections, a prize winning collection of stories, a novel and one novella.

Her short story collection: “A Noise from the Woodshed.” won The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.’ 1990.

Her novel Biography of Desire has been both a best seller and achieved critical acclaim. It was described by Clodagh Corcoran in the Irish Times as ‘The First Truly Erotic Irish Novel.’

In 2010, following nominations by poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and novelist Eugene McCabe, Dorcey was elected to the Irish Academy of writers and artists, Aosdána.

She has won five major awards for literature from the Arts Council of Ireland in 1990, 1995, 1999, 2005, and 2008.[1]

She was a writer in residence at Trinity College Dublin from 1995 to 2005, and has taught at University College Dublin.[1]

Her poetry has been taught on both the Irish Junior Certificate English curriculum and on the British O Level English curriculum and internationally (see and Google) at universities throughout Europe,the United States and Canada.

It has attracted a wealth of international research over the past 30 years and has been the subject of countless academic essays and critiques. It is reproduced in more than one hundred anthologies representing Irish, Gay and Women’s literature.

Her themes include the cathartic role of the outsider, political injustice, and the nature of the erotic power to subvert and transfigure. Celebrated as a lyric poet, Dorcey describes her fiction as exploring the intimate space between social structures and individual imagination.

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