Born in Co. Monaghan, Mary O’Donnell studied German and Philosophy at Maynooth.
Her third novel, The Elysium Testament, was published by Trident Press in 1999; previous works include Virgin and the Boy, The Light-Makers, and five collections of poetry, most recently The Place of Miracles, New & Selected Poems, (New Island Books 2006). A new collection of short stories was published in 2008 from New Island. Her fiction and poetry is represented in many anthologies of note.
She has worked as a drama critic and scripted and presented several poetry series for RTE Radio. Her awards include nomination for two Irish Times Literature Awards, Sunday Tribune Best New Irish Novel in 1992, the William Allingham Award and the Listowel Writers’ Week Short Story Prize, and prize-winner in the V.S. Pritchett Short Story Competition (UK).
Recently she has been The Ireland Fund’s 2007 writer-in-residence at the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco. She is a poetry mentor on the Carlow College Pittsburgh (USA) MFA in Creative Writing programme. She lives in Co. Kildare.