Paula Cunningham was born in Omagh and lives in Belfast.. Her chapbook A Dog called Chance (Smith/Doorstop) was a winner in The Poetry Business Competition in 1999. Her first full-length poetry collection Heimlich’s Manoeuvre, Smith/Doorstop 2013, was shortlisted for the Fenton-Aldeburgh, Seamus Heaney Centre, and Strong Shine First Collection Prizes.
She has also written drama and short fiction, and has received awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Her short story ‘The Matchboy’ won 2nd prize in the Costa Short Story Award 2015. Individual poems have won prizes in the Hippocrates Poetry Prize, the Ballymaloe Interntional Poetry Prize and the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. Her work is widely anthologised and published in print and on-line journals in Ireland, the UK Europe, Canada and the US.
‘She has formal gifts in abundance… when her eye is on her native Ulster, magic and frightening things happen.’