Mary Dorcey

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Mary Dorcey (born 1950) is an Irish short story writer, poet and novelist.[1]


Dorcey won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for Literature in 1990 for her short story collection A Noise from the Woodshed.[1] She is a member by peer election of 'Aosdana' the Academy of Irish Artists.

Critically acclaimed internationally for her poetry and fiction, it is taught at universities throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. Widely anthologized, it is reproduced in more than one hundred collections. It is discussed or cited in over six hundred critical studies.

She has published five collections of poetry, one novel, one collection of short stories and one novella. Kindling 1982. A Noise from the Woodshed. 1987. Moving Into The Space Cleared by Our Mothers. 1991. The River that Carries Me. 1995 Biography of Desire. 1999. Like Joy in Season, Like Sorrow. 2002 Perhaps the Heart is Constant After All.2012.

Much of her work explores issues of sexuality identity, and the multifaceted lives of women in their role as mothers, daughters and lovers. Power relations of all kinds are of concern in her writing: the cathartic role of the outsider, the nature of violence, desire and political oppression.[1]

Her poetry is taught on both the Irish Junior Certificate English course and on the British O Level English curriculum. It has been performed on radio and television (RTÉ BBC. and Channel 4.) It has also been dramatized for stage productions in Ireland, Britain and Australia: 'In the Pink' (The Raving Beauties) and, 'Sunny Side Plucked.'

She has won five major awards for literature from the Arts Council of Ireland: 1990, 1995, 1999 and 2005 and 2008.

She is a Research Associate at Trinity College, Dublin[1] For ten years she was a writer in residence at the Centre for Gender and Women's StudiesTrinity College, where she gave seminars on contemporary English literature and led a creative writing workshop. She has lived in the United States, England, France, Spain and Japan,[2] A new story 'Another Glorious Day.' was published in the Faber Book of Best Irish Stories.'ed. David Marcus.

She has recently complete a second novel:'Fate.' Her fifth collection of poetry: 'Perhaps the Heart is Constant After All.'(Salmon Poetry) was published last October 2012.


  • Kindling (London, Onlywomen Press, 1989)
  • Moving into the Space Cleared by Our Mothers (Galway; Salmon, 1991)
  • The River That Carries Me (Salmon Poetry, 1995)
  • Like Joy in Season, Like Sorrow (Cliffs of Moher, Salmon Poetry, 2001)

Books, essays and short stories[edit]

  • A Noise from the Woodshed: Short Stories (London, Onlywomen Press, 1989)
  • Scarlet O'Hara (in the anthology In and Out of Time) (London. Onlywomen Press, 1990)
  • Biography of Desire (Dublin, Poolbeg 1997)
  • A Glorious Day (The Faber Book Of Best New Irish Short Stories 2006–2007 By David Marcus)

'The Lift Home'(Virgins and Hyacinths, Ed. Caroline Walsh.1993. 'The Orphan' (In Sunshine or in Shadow) Ed. Mary Maher. 1999.

Staged dramatisations[edit]

  • In the Pink (The Raving Beauties)
  • Sunny Side Plucked(Dublin, Project Arts Centre)