Leanne O'Sullivan was born in 1983, and comes from the Beara peninsula in West Cork. She received an MA in English from University College, Cork in 2006. The winner of several of Ireland's poetry competitions in her early 20s (including the Seacat, Davoren Hanna and RTE Rattlebag Poetry Slam), she has published three collections, all from Bloodaxe, Waiting for My Clothes (2004), Cailleach: The Hag of Beara (2009), winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2010, and The Mining Road (2013). She was given the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award in 2009 and the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry in 2011, and received a UCC Alumni Award in 2012.
'These new poems are linguistically abundant. They are full of bold similes and metaphors. Both sensuous and religious, her art is at its most impressive in some remarkable love poems. Love poetry so celebratory and erotic is rare in these cool, cynical times. I admire Leanne O’Sullivan’s technical enterprise and unembarrassed imagination' –Michael Longley, on Leanne O'Sullivan's Cailleach: The Hag of Beara, and why she was awarded the 2009 Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary.
'Leanne O’Sullivan’s first collection, Waiting for My Clothes, was published when she was just 21 and was justifiably acclaimed for the extraordinary power of its language and the maturity of vision. It was also an intensely confessional work; it is therefore not surprising that O’Sullivan should eschew further revelations inCailleach: The Hag of Beara, her second collection, and plough, instead, the furrows of Irish mythology in her exploration of the eternal feminine... O’Sullivan’s vision continues to be deeply romantic in its trust that nature is a panacea for human suffering; these poems catch one’s breath with their exquisite rendering of the Irish landscape... O’Sullivan’s imagery is always precise, yet utterly dazzling in its originality... she is reclaiming her landscape, as all poets must, and she does so with the steadiness and gravity of a writer who has already found her way home' — Nessa O'Mahony, Irish Times
'O'Sullivan's voice sounds with striking confidence and originality…These are poems not just of what it is to be young…but of what it is to be alive; vividly, vibrantly, vulnerably so' — Belinda McKeon, Irish Times, on Waiting for My Clothes.
'What is remarkable about Leanne O’Sullivan is not that she is so young…but that she dares to write about exactly what it is to be young. A teenage Virgil, she guides us down some of the more hellish corridors of adolescence with a voice that is strong and true' — Billy Collins on Waiting for My Clothes.