John MacKenna was born in 1952 in Castledermot in Co Kildare.
His short story collections include The Fallen and Other Stories (Belfast, The Blackstaff Press, 1992) which won The Irish Times First Fiction Award; A Year of Our Lives (London, Picador, 1995); and The River Field (Dublin, New Island Books, 2007).
His novels are Clare (The Blackstaff Press, 1993); The Last Fine Summer (London, Picador, 1998); and The Space Between Us (New Island Books, 2009).
Amongst his other works are The Occasional Optimist; The Lost Village (New Island Books, 1995); and and a memoir, Things You Should Know (New Island Books, 2006); and the poetry collection Where Sadness Begins (Cliffs of Moher, Salmon Poetry, 2013).
He is also the author, with Jonathan Shackleton and Dejan Djokic, of Shackleton: An Irishman in Antarctica (University of Wisconsin Press, 2002).
Apart from the Irish Times Fiction Award, he has won a number of awards for his writing, including a Hennessey Literary Award in 1983, the 1986 Leitrim Guardian Award and a C. Day-Lewis Award in 1989 and 1990.
He is also a well-known documentary maker, his subjects including from the Amish of Pennsylvania; the Shakers of Sabbath Day Lake; a series, Someone Has To Do It; and Secret Gardens of the Heart, which followed a yound woman through the last months of her life. He won a Jacob’s Radio Award.for his documentary series on Leonard Cohen, How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns.
He lives in Kildare.
John MacKenna at New Island Books
Interview with Mick Halpin’s The Writing Show
John MacKenna at The National Library of Ireland