Vona Groarke was born in the Irish Midlands in 1964. She attended Trinity College, Dublin and University College, Cork. She has lived in Dublin, Cork and Dundalk and has been writer-in-residence at universities in Galway and Maynooth and was co-holder of the Heimbold Chair in Irish Studies at Villanova University (2004). A member of Aosdána she was selected as a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library 2018/19 and teaches in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. Vona Groarke is St John’s College, University of Cambridge, Writer in Residence for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Her collections published by The Gallery Press include Shale (1994), Other People’s Houses (1999), Flight (2002, shortlisted for the Forward Prize (UK) and winner of the Michael Hartnett Award in 2003), Juniper Street (2006), Spindrift (2009), X (2014), both Poetry Book Society Recommendations, Selected Poems (2016) and Four Sides Full (2016, a book-length personal essay), Double Negative (2019, shortlisted for the 2020 Irish Times Poetry Now Award) and Link: Poet and World was published in 2021.
In 2008, her version of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s eighteenth-century Irish poem was published as Lament for Art O’Leary and Woman of Winter, a version of the ‘Lament for the Hag of Beare’ with illustrations by Isabel Nolan, was published in September 2023.
Awards include the Hennessy Award, the Brendan Behan Memorial Prize, the Michael Hartnett Award, Strokestown International Poetry Award and the Stand Magazine Poetry Prize. In 2017 she received the Hennessy Hall of Fame Award for outstanding contribution to literature.