Mary O'Malley is a natural musician. Her poetry alludes to music - the music of Ireland, the Iberian peninsula, the America of jazz and spiritual - and shares forms with it. Music is spiritual and political at the same time. Her themes embrace the child colonised and the adult journey, Ireland and America and Southern Europe, a poetry exploring love, place, loss, and locating the poet's one true home in language. When her native Irish language is lost to her, finding that true home becomes a special kind of challenge.
The Boning Hall is the first book of poems by Mary O'Malley to be published by Carcanet. It includes work drawn from her previous collections, Where the Rocks Float (1993), The Knife in the Wave (1997) and Asylum Road (2001), all published by Salmon Poetry.
Mary O'Malley was born in Connemara in Ireland and educated at University College Galway. She lived in Lisbon for eight years and taught at Universidade Nova. She served on the council of Poetry Ireland and was on the Committee of the Cirt International Poetry Festival for eight years. She was the author of its educational programme. She taught on the MA programmes for Writing and Education in the Arts at NUI Galway for ten years, held the Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University in 2013, and has held Residencies in Paris, Tarragona, New York, NUI Galway, as well as in Derry, Belfast. She is active in environmental education, specifically marine. She is a member of Aosdna and has won a number of awards for her poetry, including the 2016 Arts Council University of Limerick Writer's Fellowship. She is the Trinity Writer Fellow at the Oscar Wilde Centre for 2019. She writes and broadcasts for RT Radio regularly.