Mary Kennelly is married with three children and lives with her family in Glin, Co Limerick, hailing originally from Co. Kerry. She spent many years working in Special Education and is now Principal of Coláiste na Trócaire Secondary School, Co. Limerick. She is also a published poet and writer and has worked in the arts for many years.
Mary has been involved in arts events in Ireland for many years, including Listowel Writers’ Week and the Brendan Kennelly Summer Festival. She was a participant in the Mindfield: Spoken Word section at Electric Picnic 2014, where she performed alongside the Limerick collective The Whitehouse Poets. She has written for publications including The Kerryman, The Sunday Independent and The Sunday Tribune.
- Editor - Winners Anthology Writer’s Week 1996, 1997, 1998 & 1999
- Editor – Brendan Kennelly Summer Festival Inaugural Souvenir Booklet 2000
- ‘Sunny Spells, Scattered Showers’ Carroll R. & Kennelly M. Glenwood Press 2004 & 2005
- ‘From the Stones’ Fitzmaurice B. & Kennelly M. Evensong Publications 2010
- ‘Catching Bats Takes Patience’ Kennelly M. Liberties Press 2015
- Whitehouse Poetry Anthology 2012 – Contributor
- ‘Where I find God’ – Contributor Eds. Cora Guinnane & Joanne O'Brien Columba Press 2016
- By agreement with the poet and publisher her poetry has appeared in various magazines and publications. Her poetry is also on display in Limerick Regional Hospital, St. Camillus’ Hospital, the Bon Secours Hospital Cork & Milford Hospice, the Malton Hotel, Killarney and the Listowel Arms Hotel.
She has written on writers, poetry and the arts for newspapers including ‘The Kerryman’, ‘The Sunday Tribune’ and ‘The Sunday Independent’.
Media & Performance
The poet has been interviewed for ‘The Kerryman’, ‘The Limerick Leader’, ‘The Sunday Tribune’ and ‘The Sunday Independent’, ‘The Examiner’, Kerry Radio, Limerick 95 FM & RTE Radio 1 & Headstuff.org amongst others.
She has read at venues including Writers’ Week Listowel, Ó Bhéal, The Whitehouse & ‘The Spoken Word Stage’ Electric Picnic.
She has delivered a lectures on ‘The North Kerry Writers: John B. Keane, Bryan MacMahon, Maurice Walsh, Seán McCarthy and Brendan Kennelly’ and ‘The Kennelly Poets; Brendan, Paddy & Mary’ for Skidmore University and for the Smithsonian Institute as part of their credited outreach courses.
Mary Kennelly is a poet of love, of loss, of letting go, a lover of sweet anarchy who in a world where Christ lies bleeding can still choose redemptive laughter. In a world of the ordinary, the mundane, the poet finds that we are magnificent after all. Mary Kennelly is a fine poet whose poems are a joy to read.
Love of community and place.
Kennelly’s aesthetic is grounded in the familial; she speaks out of an engagement and love of community and place. She reminds us that in the telling and retelling of stories we recognise ourselves and can perhaps understand and empathise more fully with humanity.