Vona Groarke

(1964 - Present)

Vona Groarke was born in Mostrim in the Irish midlands and raised in Ireland. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and University College, Cork. Groarke is the author of eleven books, including eight full-length poetry collections, and publishes with The Gallery Press in Ireland and Wake Forest University Press in the United States. Her notable works include her first collection, Shale (1994), winner of the Brendan Behan Memorial Prize; Flight (2002), which won the Michael Hartnett Award and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection; and Spindrift (2009), nominated for the 2010 Irish Times Poetry Now Award. Most recently, she published Lament of Art O’Leary, her translation of the eighteenth-century Irish keen by Eibhl’n Dubh N’ Chonaill.

A member of Aosdána, Groarke is widely regarded as one of the major Irish poets working today. She is the recipient of the Hennessy Award, the Strokestown International Poetry Award, the Stand Magazine Poetry Prize, and the Hennessy Hall of Fame Award for outstanding contribution to literature. She has been editor of Poetry Ireland Review, selector for the Poetry Book Society, and a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library. Groarke has taught in the United States at Villanova University, where she was co-holder of the Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies, and Wake Forest University. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Poetry at the Centre for New Writing at Manchester University and lives the rest of the time in southern County Sligo.


Photo credit: Kate-Bowe O’Brien/The Gallery Press