Maria McManus

Maria McManus is a poet and playwright. She has contributed to the arts in a sustained way for more than 20 years, through arts in healthcare, music and literary activities. She is co-founder of ‘Write! Down’ a collaborative of writers in Co. Down and was Chair of the Wild Geese Festival of Literature and Song, for five years between 2001 and 2006. Having worked for 26 years in healthcare in Northern Ireland, she gave up her job in April 2012 in order to put writing and the arts at the hub of her life.


  • 2013 We Are Bone, Lagan Press
  • 2010 Arts Council of England – Poet Casting
  • 2009 The Cello Suites, Lagan Press
  • 2006 Respect, Wheelworks (arts for children and young people) Photography & creative writing publication with Sonya Cromie (Whitefield) and Andy Bernt
  • 2006 Reading the Dog, Lagan Press
  • 2003 Poetry Introductions 1, Lagan Press

Plays / Screen

  • 2012/13 We Are Bone (adaptation of the sequence of poems Aill na Searrach/ The Leap of the Foals – script development) NI Screen Short Steps
  • 2008 Bruised, with Maria Connolly, Stacey Gregg and Rosemary Jenkinson for Tinderbox Theatre Company
  • 2005 The Blackout Show for Red lead Arts, with Marie Jones, Dan Gordon & Miche Doherty
  • 2005 His n Hers, with Raymond Scannell, for Replay Theatre Company
  • 2004 Nowhere Harder Replay Theatre Company, Script Lab – Rehearsed Reading


  • 2012 SIAP Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • 2011 Institute of Healthcare Management Experienced Manager of the Year
  • 2008 SIAP, Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • 2007 Glen Dimplex award, nominee poetry
  • 2007 Rupert & Eithne Strong Award, runner up
  • 2006 ASSITEJ – Tour Germany – study trip of theatre for children and young people. She was one of 3 representatives from Northern Ireland
  • 2006/07 Apprentice Playwright Tinderbox
  • 2006 NICVA Award for Respect Project
  • 2005 Bedell Scholarship for literature and world citizenship, inaugural winner, Aspen Writers’ Foundation, Colorado, USA

Readings have included: Poetry Now, Force 12, John Hewitt Spring and Summer Schools, Aspen Summer Words, Colorado, National Poetry Day readings representing Fermanagh & Down, Northern Ireland Libraries, Wild Geese Festival, Poetry Ireland Introductions, Belfast Book Week/ Lagan Press, Samhain, ‘Let me take you to the island…‘, Rathlin Writers’ Festival, Over the Edge, and Summer Palace readings

Recent Projects

  • 2013/14 – (pending) Creative writing with Polish Community – Lagan Press
  • 2013 Inishlacken – residency, Inishlacken, Connemara in celebration of Gerard Dillon
  • 2013 Operational Manager, Here & Beyond – an Arts Care dance and learning disability project as part of the City of Culture events in Derry
  • 2013 Coordinator for Arts Care of ‘Here & Now’ – the festival of arts and older people.

Xpeditions Maria McManus participated:

Basecamps Maria McManus participated:

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Events & Showings:

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