Born in Chicago in 1954, Julie O’Callaghan has lived in Ireland since 1974. Her collections of poetry include Edible Anecdotes (Dolmen, 1983), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, What’s What (Bloodaxe, 1991), a Poetry Book Society Choice, No Can Do (Bloodaxe, 2000), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and Tell Me This Is Normal: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2008), also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. A chapbook,Problems (Pressed Wafer, Boston), appeared in 2005.
She has published poetry in many newspapers and journals, including The Observer, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review and New Statesman.
She received the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award in 2001 and was awarded Arts Council of Ireland Bursaries in 1985, 1990 and 1998.
Her poems for older children have appeared in numerous anthologies in the U.K. (including the New Oxford Book of Children’s Verse, the Oxford Book of Children’s Poetry and the New Faber Book of Children’s Verse) and in school texts in Ireland, England, America and Canada. Her poems for children are collected in Bright Lights Blaze Out (Oxford University Press, 1986), Cambridge Contemporary Poets 2 (Cambridge University Press, 1992) and in three full-length collections, Taking My Pen for a Walk (Orchard, 1988), Two Barks (Bloodaxe Books, 1998) and The Book of Whispers (Faber & Faber, 2006).
She has given readings at the South Bank Centre, Cúirt (Galway), Belfast Festival, Dublin Writers’ Festival, Aspects (Belfast), Scríobh (Sligo), Kilkenny Arts Week, ‘Poetry Now’ (Dun Laoghaire), BBC Children’s Poetry Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Hull Literature Festival, Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Writers in Schools, Listowel Writers’ Week and Yeats Summer School.
Her poetry has been broadcast on RTE Radio 1 and 2, BBC Radio 3 (including a commission for Poetry Proms 2002), BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Ulster, Public Radio International (Garrison Keillor), and RTE and BBC television.
She is a member of the Irish academy of arts, Aosdána.