Key Research Interests

Thesis title (provisional): Sometimes the Writer is also the Mother: Towards a Poetics of Motherhood

Through readings of contemporary mother-writing (Andrea Brady, Maggie Nelson, Jenny Offill, Sarah Manguso, Sara Ruhl…) I aim to draw out the creative potential in an area that is often considered devoid of and antipathic to such potential. I use figures such as ‘interruption’, ‘effacement’ and ‘narrative’ to think about maternal praxis and subjectivity, and its textual embodiment. Critical and creative elements are tightly linked. The latter is a deliberate act of occupying a maternal ‘I’ in a fragmented personal essay.


Heal, O. (2016) ‘The Guinea Fowl’ in The Stinging Fly, Issue 35, Volume 2, p.48 ISBN 9781906539580

Heal, O. (2016) ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’ in gorse, No. 5, pp.21-27 ISBN 9780992804749

Heal, O. (2015) ‘La Symphonie du loup’ (Translation. Extract of novel by Marius Daniel Popescu) in Best European Fiction 2016, Dalkey Archive, pp.209-214 ISBN 9781628971149

Heal, O. (2015) ‘You Have a Hole in Your Jumper’ in The Next Review Vol. 2, No. 5, pp.30-36

Heal, O. (2015) ‘Caul’ in The Bohemyth

Heal, O. (2013) ‘The Taxidermist’ in The White Review (Shortlisted for The White Review Prize, 2013)

Heal, O. (2012) ‘The Studio’ in The Literateur

Heal, O. (2011) ‘Sheepskin’ in The White Review