Myra Vennard

Myra Vennard was born in Belfast in 1929, where she was educated at primary school and secretarial college. She worked as a secretary in various posts until 1953 where she married and had a daughter and a son. 

She spent a brief period in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the late 1950s and early 1960s before returning to Northern Ireland where she resumed her work as secretary. Returning to higher education in the 1990s she graduated at the University of Ulster with honours BA in English Literature and an MA in Anglo-Irish literature, with a dissertation on the poetic vision of Samuel Beckett. 

As a post-graduate she attended the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College, Dublin, where she gained a diploma in Eumenics. It was around this period that she first began writing poetry, having work published in various magazines including Poetry Ireland and the Honest Ulsterman. 

She also broadcast on Radio Ulster. She attended Queen University Belfast creative writers’ group and in 2000 had poems the group’s anthology Hauling Songs; she also wrote reviews for various magazines and an essay and poems were published in Children of the Troubles by Laurel Holliday. 

Having lived for many years in Bangor, Co Down, she has now retired to Ballycastle, Co Antrim, where she has ancestral roots. Her first book of poetry Easter Saturday (2009) was published by Lagan Press. In 2010 she was won the Belfast Telegraph’s Woman of the Year in Arts Award.