Grace Wilentz was born in New York City and grew up in Greenwich Village. A graduate of Harvard University, with postgraduate degrees from Oxford University and University College Dublin, she has published poems in The American Poetry Journal, Cyphers, The Harvard Advocate, The Irish Times and The Seneca Review. She moved to Ireland in 2005 to study the Irish language and became an Irish citizen in 2015.
Last year she published a chapbook, Holding Distance, and received a bursary from The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. She has taught Creative Writing at UCD and now lives in The Liberties of Dublin.
‘Picture the world without you in it’ — the opening line of Grace Wilentz’s engaging first collection illustrates the imaginative range of her poetry. The book is a record of experience, a widely lived life. There are poems set in her native New York City, in the Everglades, in Morocco, in the Anasazi villages of the American West and in her adopted country, Ireland. There are poems in the voice of her mother undergoing treatment for cancer and others that explore her Jewish heritage. Her succinctness of thought and her epiphanies are evident in ‘In this desert landscape / there is little enough to measure yourself by’ and ‘children are always / at the mercy / of the deal’. In her style and subject matter Grace Wilentz broadens the reach of recent Irish poetry.