Mary O'Donoghue

  • Professor
Academic Division: Arts & Humanities


Mary ODonoghue is a novelist, short story writer, poet and translator. She teaches writing fiction, rhetoric, and literature classes at Babson College. She is the author of the novel Before the House Burns (The Lilliput Press, 2010) and the poetry collections Among These Winters (Dedalus Press, 2007) and Tulle (Salmon Poetry, 2001). Her fiction has appeared in many European and US journals: Granta, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Irish Times, Sunday Times UK, Stinging Fly, Dublin Review, and elsewhere.

Mary O'Donoghue's translations of Irish-language poets Sen Rordin and Colm Breathnach are published in Leabhar na hAthghabhla/ Poems of Repossession (Bloodaxe Books/ Clo Iar-Chonnacht, 2016). Her translations of Rordin also appear in Selected Poems (Yale University Press, 2014). Her collaborative translations of the work of Irish-language poet Louis de Paor featured in the first major bilingual edition of his work, Ag Greadadh Bas sa Reilig/Clapping in the Cemetery (Cl Iar-Chonnachta, 2005), and in agus rud eile de/and another thing (Cl Iar-Chonnachta, 2010) and The Brindled Cat and the Nightingales Tongue (Bloodaxe, 2014).

Her writing awards include Hennessy/Sunday Tribune New Irish Writer; a Tyrone Guthrie/Virginia Center for Creative Arts fellowship; an artist grant from Vermont Studio Center. She has also been awarded two artist fellowships from Massachusetts Cultural Council, most recently in 2012. In 2013 her short story The Sweet Forbearance in the Streets won the Irish Times/ Legends of the Fall prize for fiction responding to Irelands economic crisis. In recognition of her body of work in poetry, fiction and translation, she received a Babson College Faculty Scholarship Award in 2008; for ongoing work she was named a Babson Research Scholar for 2015-2018. She is currently working on her next novel. She is Fiction Editor at the literary journal AGNI.

Academic Degrees

  • M. Phil, National University of Ireland Galway
  • BA, National University of Ireland Galway

Academic Interests

Creative Writing; Fiction; Translation; Poetry; Irish Literature; Literature in Translation

Awards & Honors

  • 2015 — Sunday Times/ EFG Short Story Award: Longlisted Finalist, Sunday Times UK/ EFG Bank
  • 2013 — Legends of the Fall: Short Fiction Prize, Irish Times
  • 2012 — Artists Fellowship, Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • 2012 — Artist's Grant/ Residency, Vermont Studio Center
  • 2011 — Julia Ward Howe Award. Finalist., Boston Authors' Society
  • 2008 — Faculty Research Award, Babson College
  • 2006 — Artists Grant , Massachusetts Cultural Council


Other (please explain)

  • O'Donoghue, M.G., Kevin Anderson, K., Jenkinson, B. (2014). The Brindled Cat and the Nightingales Tongue. Bloodaxe Books Ltd.


  • O'Donoghue, M.G. (2010). Before the House Burns. Lilliput Press.
  • O'Donoghue, M.G. (2007). Among These Winters. Dedalus Press.
  • O'Donoghue, M.G. (2001). Tulle. Salmon Poetry.


  • A Reading of Fiction and PoetryO'Donoghue, M. AGNI Editors, Newtonville Books, Newton, MA (2017)
  • Fiction ReadingO'Donoghue, M. International Summer School (Irish Studies), National University of Ireland Galway (2015)
  • Sinead Morrissey and Mary O'DonoghueO'Donoghue, M. , S. Poetry Reading, Boston University (2015)
  • Reading from fiction and translationsO'Donoghue, M. International Summer School (Irish Studies), Galway, Ireland (2014)
  • Reading from fiction and translationsO'Donoghue, M. Pinard, M. Suffolk University Poetry Center, Boston, MA (2014)
  • Reading from fiction and translationsO'Donoghue, M. Center for Humanities at Tufts Spring Speaker Series, Medford, MA (2014)
  • Seamus Heaney: A CelebrationO'Donoghue, M. Seamus Heaney Tribute, Boston, MA (2013)
  • Reading from The Sweet Forbearance in the Streets and craft discussionO'Donoghue, M. Presentation to advanced creative writing (fiction) class, Waltham, MA (2013)
  • An Afternoon of Salmon PoetsO'Donoghue, M. Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Salem, MA (2013)
  • selections from fiction and poetryO'Donoghue, M. Commonwealth Reading Series, Cambridge, MA (2013)
  • Pinard, M. O'Donoghue, M. Waterline Reading Series, (2013)
  • Fiction ReadingO'Donoghue, M. iBAM Chicago, Irish American Heritage Center (2011)
  • Fiction ReadingO'Donoghue, M. LA Times Book Festival, USC (2011)
  • The Still, Sad Music of Humanity: The Child's-Eye View in FictionO'Donoghue, M. The Sixth International Conference on the Arts in Society, Berlin, Germany (2011)
  • Poetry ReadingO'Donoghue, M. Blacksmith House Poetry Series, Cambridge MA (2011)
  • Fiction ReadingO'Donoghue, M. Creative Writers and Artists Forum, Bentley University (2011)
  • Fiction ReadingO'Donoghue, M. BenningtonCollege, Vermont (2010)
  • Poetry ReadingO'Donoghue, M. Boston Athenaeum, Boston MA (2010)
  • ReadingO'Donoghue, M. National University of Ireland, Galway (2010)
  • "The Day My Class GotDrunk on Cake" Teaching Traction to Fiction Writing StudentsO'Donoghue, M. Fourth International Converence on the Arts in Society, Venice (2009)
  • Poetry ReadingO'Donoghue, M. Boston Athenaeum Poetry Series, Boston MA (2009)
  • Translating Irish Language PoetryO'Donoghue, M. Translator's Notes Symposium, Natick MA (2009)
  • Penny Arcade and Petit Muse: the Short Stories of Steven Millhauser and the Box Art of Joseph CornellO'Donoghue, M. 10th International Conference on the Short Story, University College Cork (2008)
  • Fecking Around With These Old Stories: Talkers and Earwitnesses in the Theatre of the Bar. O'Donoghue, M. Orality and Modern Irish Culture, National University of Ireland, Galway (2006)
  • Finding, Taking, Sharing: Translation of Irish-language Poetry and (Un)Principled Pleasure.O'Donoghue, M. Harvard Celtic Colloquium, Harvard University (2005)
  • Disgusting Ventriloquism: The Short Story as a Site for Transgender Experiment in Narrative Voice. O'Donoghue, M. Feminisms Within and Without Conference, National University of Ireland, Galway (2005)
  • Collaboration: On Being a Poet-Translator of the Irish-Language Poetry of Louis de Paor. O'Donoghue, M. XXth Century Literature Conference, University of Louisville (2005)