Author Patricia O’Donnell


Patricia O’Donnell grew up in Parkersburg, Iowa.  Her BA and MA are from the University of Northern Iowa, and her MFA in Fiction is from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She and her husband Michael Burke raised their three children–Emma, Brendan, and Harper–in Wilton, Maine, a small town which curves around the southern end of Wilson Lake. The photo at the right is of the maple syrup they make in early spring, when the sap is rising.

Patricia is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington, where she teaches fiction writing in the BFA Program in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Agni Review, The North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and other journals and anthologies. Her novel, Necessary Places, was published by Cadent Publishing (now part of Tilbury House).  Her memoir, Waiting to Begin, was published in August, 2016 by Bottom Dog Press. Her collection of short fiction, Gods for Sale, won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award for 2016, and was published by Snake Nation Press. Her novel, The Vigilance of Stars, was published in the spring of 2019 by Unsolicited Press.


  • The Vigilance of Stars (Novel, 2019)
  • Gods for Sale (Collection of short fiction, 2017)
  • Waiting to Begin (Memoir, 2016)
  • Necessary Places (Novel, 2012)


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