Writing CV


Presently developing a poetry project in response to the collections of the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin

This Little World, my debut poetry collection, was published by Doire Press, 17 June 2017. Some copies are available in The Ennis Bookshop, Banner Books in Ennistymon, and online here from Doire Press. I have a few at home – you can contact me through this website.

This Little World cover
Cover for This Little World © Karen J McDonnell & Doire Press

Reviews for This Little World

Review: Karen J. McDonnell – This Little World



‘Obsignatores’, a poetic essay in Travel as Transformation in the Global Middle Ages ed., Prof. June-Ann Greeley, (ARC Humanities Press) Forthcoming with Arc Humanities Press

Anthologies, Broadsheets, & Journals

‘His Mistress Awakes on His Birthday’, The Stony Thursday Book, ed., Annemarie Ní Churreáin (December 2022)

‘My Grandfather Battles Death’ in Vital Signs, Poems of Illness and Healing, ed., Martin Dyar, (Poetry Ireland, October, 2022)

‘Let Us Lie’ in the Dedalus Press Anthology of Love Poems, eds., Leeanne Quinn & Joseph Woods (October 2022)

‘After Effects’, Crannóg 57, (September 2022)

‘Stopped’, in Drawn to the Light, Issue 6, ed., Órla Fay (Drawn to the Light Press, June 2022)

‘Ripplings’, photography, in The Waxed Lemon, Issue 3, (Winter/Spring 2022)

‘Driftwood’, in The Cormorant Anthology (August 2021) originally published in The Cormorant Issue 5, eds., Louise Kennedy, Una Mannion, & Eoin McNamee (December 2020)

‘Never Mesopotamia’, in Walk With Me – A Literary Journey in the time of Covid-19 in County Clare, eds., Breda Shannon & Cynthia Sinnott (North West Clare Writers’ Circle, November 2020) [Creative Non-Fiction]

‘Derry, 5 July, Lough Foyle’, in Coast to Coast to Coast: Poerty in Aldeburgh 2019 ed., Maria Isakova Bennett (Coast to Coast to Coast, November 2019)

‘Isra’ (fiction) in Boyne Berries 26 ed., Órla Fay (Boyne Berries, October 2019)

‘Scent’ in Gondal Heights, an anthology  in response to the work of the Brontës, ed., Marie Lecrivain, (Sybaritic Press, Los Angeles, June 2019)

‘Lightstorming’ in The Stony Thursday Book ed., Nessa O’Mahony (Limerick City & County Arts Office, October 2018)

‘A Clare Set’ in Coast to Coast to Coast: Special Irish Issue eds., Maria Isakova Bennett & Michael Brown, (Coast to Coast to Coast, 2018)

‘The Good Room’ in the Take Heart special edition of Spontaneity.org ed., Ruth McKee (April 2018) Online http://spontaneity.org/issue-14/the-good-room/

‘East’ in Poetry NI: Poems for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 ed., Colin Dardis (Poetry Northern Ireland, 2016) Online  http://www.poetryni.com/poems-for-holocaust-memorial-day-2016.html

‘Grave Good’ in The Stony Thursday Book ed., Mary O’Donnell (Limerick City & County Arts Office, 2015)

‘At Sea’ in Wild Atlantic Words ed., John Baylis Post (Hungry Hill Writing, 2015)

‘My Grief is Great’ in Rubicon: words and art inspired by Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, ed., Marie Lecrivain (Sybaritic Press, Los Angeles 2015)

‘Clocháns, Killard’ and ‘Evening Fire on the Burren’ in Brain of Forgetting (Stone) eds., Bernadette McCarthy & Tom Jordan (Brain of Forgetting Press, Cork, 2015)

‘Limerick in Spring, 1918’ and ‘At Corranroo’ in The Stony Thursday Book ed., Peter Sirr (Limerick City & County Arts Office, 2014)

‘Upstream the Bliss of Heaven’ in Words on the Waves 2014 (Words on the Street, 2014)

‘An Cúirt’ (Fiction) in Crannóg 23 (Crannóg Media, 2010)


‘Lockdown, early morning’ in Pendemic.ie, (June 2020)

Lockdown, early morning by Karen J McDonnell

‘An Invitation to the Late Mr Yeats’ & ‘Corridor Assessment’ in Al Khemia Poetica (April 2019) http://alkhemiapoetica.blogspot.com/2019/04/karen-j-mcdonnell-two-poems-invitation.html

‘Wall’, excerpt from Unsettled – A West Bank Journal in The Galway Review   (03 December 2017)

Karen J McDonnell – Wall

Four poems in The Rochford Street Review, Issue 22 on Contemporary Irish Poets ed., Mark Roberts (Australia, June 2017)

Contemporary Irish Poetry Featured Writer: Karen J. McDonnell

‘Where the land meets the sky.’ Photography in Al-Khemia Poetica for U.S. National Women’s Month. Guest Editor Marie Lecrivain. ( 17 March, 2017)


‘The High Road’ in The Honest Ulsterman  (February 2017)

‘Afterlife I, II, III’ (April 2017)

‘Down’ – short fiction – (April 2015)

‘Unsettled’, an excerpt from Unsettled – a West Bank Journal – literary non-fiction – (November 2013)

‘Nollaig na mBan’ (December 2012)

All in poeticdiversity Los Angeles

Print Media

Hennessy New Irish Writing – September 2017 Poetry Winner – Irish Times (30 September 2017)


Several poems published in the Clare Champion in the Poets’ Corner column (2013-2017)


Contribution to a feature on living alone during the COVID19 lockdown, Irish Times online & print, (May 2020)


‘Five Years On – Remembering Heaney, Remembering Loss’ in the Irish Times Culture online

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/five-years-on-remembering-seamus-heaney-remembering-loss-1.3612408        (30 August 2018)

‘Walter Macken Centenary’ in the Clare Champion (2015)

Many articles, theatre & book reviews in SIN (2012-2014)

‘Seamus Heaney: A Month’s Mind’ in SIN (2013)

‘Karen has Libya on her mind’ in the Clare Champion (2011)

‘Postcard from the West Bank’ in the Irish Times (2008)


‘Yew’ a poem published on the Poetry as Commemoration virtual Poetry Wall – online – and handwritten copy to the archives, UCD Special Collections, Dublin (2023)

Coast to Coast to Coast – a Litany commissioned for Poetry Day Ireland, co-ordinated and edited by Maria Isakova (May 2020 and later)

Work contributed to writer Catherine Anne Cullen’s A-Z of Dublin – part of her work as Poet in Residence with Poetry Ireland:  https://abcdublin.org/letters/

The Bangor Poetry Competition – exhibition of framed, handwritten poems, with other artworks as part of the Aspects Festival (September, 2018)

The Aldeburgh Collaborative – curated by Maria Isakova as part of her Aldeburgh Residency. A collaboration of 48 poets writing collectively on one day from different maritime locations around Ireland, Britain, California and France; accompanied by photographs taken at each location.   (31 August, 2018 and later)

‘This Water has Passion’ – Open-air spoken word event at Coole Park, Co. Galway.                 Filmed and organised as part of a series by Kevin Bateman      08 July 2018          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZdOcnsA4UM

Take Heart popup – Art and Writing auction in aid of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, in conjunction with the Take Heart special edition of Spontaneity.org, May 2018

‘Seven Sisters’ poetry reading inspired by #Fired #HedgeSchool movement.                                                              See AWomanPoetsCanon.com  At the Record Break Café, February 2018.

‘Exposition’ Artists respond to work by poems from the Clare Poetry Collective. Exhibition of art and poems at the Record Break Café, Ennis.  My poem is ‘Turlough’ – from This Little World. (Exhibition from 25 Nov 2017 – Jan 2018.)

‘Can-do Poetry’ was one of 30 poems chosen to be exhibited around the city of Limerick for its Poetry Month, organised by the Limerick Writers’ Centre. (April 2017)

Artists created work in response to two of my poems for the exhibition ‘To Be or Naught To Be is Written in Sand’. The painting and copies of each poem were shown at Glór, Ennis, Co. Clare. (2015)  See this link from website of one of the organisers Carmel Doherty: http://carmeldoherty.com/art-poetry-exhibition-glor-2015/lady-of-title-lunatic-by-karen-j-mcdonnell/


Listowel Writers Week Poem of the Year, at the An Post Irish Book Awards (2021)

Trim Poetry Competition (2021)

Bangor Poetry Competition (2018) 2 poems

Robert Monteith International Poetry Competition (2017)

UCHG/Cúirt Poems for Patience (2017, 2014)

Wild Atlantic Words Poetry Competition (Runner-up, 2015)

Words on the Waves Poetry Competition (Winner, 2014)


Anthony Cronin Poetry Prize  (2018)

Dermot Healy Poetry Prize (2017)

Words on the Waves Poetry Competition (2016)

Over the Edge New Writer  (2014)


Pushcart Prize (2019) ‘Scent’ in Gondal Heights (Sybaritic Press, Los Angeles, 2019)

Best of the Net (2019) ‘An Invitation to the Late Mr Yeats’, (Al-khemia Poetica, Los Angeles, 2019)

Nominated for Listowel Pigott Poetry Prize 2018 – This Little World

Nominated for the 2018 Shine/Strong Award for best first collection – This Little World

‘Palmyra 2016’ nominated in Single Poem category at the 2017 Bórd Gáis Energy Irish Books Awards

Best of the Net (2014), ‘Unsettled’, an excerpt from Unsettled – A West Bank Journal (non-fiction)

Radio Work

The Poetry File, RTÉ Lyric FM.    Broadcast 7 December 2019: poem ‘Aughawillan’

The Poetry File, RTÉ Lyric FM.    Broadcast 12 October 2019: poem ‘Astray’

Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio 1. Broadcast 17 March 2019: essay ‘Grand Stretch’

Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio 1. Broadcast 11 March 2018:  poem ‘Joan-In Two Snapshots’

Arena [Arts programme], RTÉ Radio 1. Broadcast 28 July 2017:  featured poet, marking publication of This Little World

The Poetry Programme, RTÉ Radio 1. Broadcast 23 April 2016 & 15 April 2017:  Wrote the brief for the slot, and was interviewed about women’s poetry from WW1.  Read three of the poems.

The Marian Finucane Show, RTÉ Radio 1. Broadcast ? 2005: Panel discussion on aspects of Romania. Reviewed the The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.


Link to reading of shortlisted poem ‘In a Republic of Nuns’ for the Trim Poetry Festival (2021)

TPCVideo – YouTube

Link to reading at the launch of the Stony Thursday Book (2018), in the City Library, Limerick.

Reading at 29.23mins https://youtu.be/hk-3sON7L24

Reviews of other work

Brian Kirk, Alice Kinsella, Siobhán Campbell in The North, #61, The Irish Issue eds., Jane Clarke & Nessa O’Mahony (The Poetry Business, UK, January 2019)

Masterclasses/workshops attended

Dr Mariah Whelan, Literature Cambridge Online – The History of the Sonnet –  six week seminar course October/November 2021

Billy O’Callaghan, Munster Literature Centre, online fiction workshop March/April 2021

Liz Berry online workshop March 2021

George Szirtes online workshop November 2020

John McAuliffe poetry and poetry reviewing workshops September 2020

Stinging Fly Summer School July 2020 (online due to COVID19)

Billy Collins masterclass at the John Hewitt Summer School 2019

Maeve O’Sullivan Haiku workshop at Salmon Literary Centre May 2019

Vahni Capildeo workshop at Poetry Ireland  May 2019

Leontia Flynn workshop Yeats Intl Summer School 2018

Paula Meehan, Ireland Professor of Poetry masterclass in Bray, March 2016

Theo Dorgan, Farmleigh Writer-in-Residence workshop, 2015

Moya Cannon workshop Yeats Intl Summer School 2014

Workshops given

Children: I have given workshops on behalf of Poetry Ireland and Clare County Library services to primary and secondary school students. At the request of Clare Co Library I devised a poetry workshop for secondary school children based around the book Wonder, to coincide with the book being chosen as Ennistymon’s ‘book’ for both adults and children.


Other                                                                                                                                                                I was a journalist and Theatre & Literature Editor of SIN, the student newspaper of NUI Galway. In that role I published guest writer contributions from President Michael D Higgins, and the American writer and poet Thomas Lynch. I wrote articles, arts reviews, colour pieces, and edited other contributions.

I have written, produced, and presented my own radio work on Wild Atlantic Waves Radio 2014-2015. Presently, I am a volunteer and committee member with Kinvara Community Radio, KINVARA FM. I present an Arts-focussed show, The Western Skyline. You can listen to podcasts by accessing the Menu above.


Writer’s Block with Karen J. McDonnell