About

Mary O’Brien (Máire Ní Bhriain)

Mary O’Brien (Máire Ní Bhriain) is a bilingual writer whose poems have appeared in  Crannóg, Southword, North West Words, Revival, Boyne Berries, The Scaldy Detail, Whirligig, Feasta, An tUltach, an Linn Bhuí and elsewhere.

Poems have twice featured among the prizewinners at the Samhain International Poetry Competition in the Donegal Gaeltacht and in 2017 the poem,  Blas, won Duais Fhoras na Gaeilge at Listowel Writers’ Week.

Poems have also been shortlisted in the following competitions: Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards, (Dublin), Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition,  (Cork), Fish Poetry Prize, (Cork), Allingham Poetry Competition, (Co. Donegal), North West Words Poetry Prize  and Ealaín na Gaeltachta Comórtas Filíochta 2017. In 2018 two poems were shortlisted for Duais Fhoras na Gaeilge and one also shortlisted for Duais de hÍde 2019 at Strokestown International Poetry Festival.

Mary grew up in north Wexford and qualified as a primary teacher. She acquired additional qualifications in the area of Special Needs Education and Religious Education and has worked on in-service courses for teachers. She received an M.A. (U.C.D.) from Milltown Institute, Dublin, her thesis subject being Poem Making as Meditative Practice.  Life-long interests include amateur drama and theatre, the Irish Language, Irish traditional music, singing and dance. She lives near Wexford town with her husband.

Mary began writing as a member of Wexford Arts Centre Writers’ Group and has long association with writing and poetry groups in the town.

She is a three-time recipient of a Local Authority Arts Bursary for Literature and also of a Percent for Art Grant. She also writes the odd short story and was shortlisted for the  R.T.É. 2016 Francis MacManus Short Story Award.

Mary has published 6 collections of poetry as follows, the work for three of them having been supported by arts grants:

  • RÉ NA n-ÚLLMingle-Mangle agus Gallamaulfrey: 2019, Coiscéim, Dublin.
  • WAITING FOR THE LIGHTS: 2015 Boland Press.
  • A SUDDEN HUSH, (Haiku) 2011  : Self-published.
  • DICING WITH THE TIDE, The Works, Wexford.
  • CUTTING THE LAKE, 2005. Rectory Press, Waterford
  • THE IRIS AND THE MARIGOLD. 2001. Self-published.

12 poems also feature in the Wexford poetry anthology, DUST MOTES DANCING IN THE SUMBEAMS, 2013. Editor, Tom Mooney.

Mary contributes to poetry readings and has also presented occasional music and poetry programmes for C.M.T. on South East Radio.

See recent poems at the following:
* Mary O’Brien at drawntothelightpress.com issue 2, 2021
* Máire Ní Bhriain, Three Poems thegalwayreview.com   2020
*Máire Ní Bhriain at An Chúirt Filíochta 2020 click here
*Máire Ní Bhriain at Strokestown Poetry click here

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