O'Grady was the author of nearly 20 books of poetry, including My Alexandria (2006), On My Way (2006), The Road Taken: Poems 1956-1996 and The Wandering Celt (2001). He published over a dozen collections of translated poetry, among them Trawling Tradition 1954-1994, Selected Poems of C.P. Cavafy, The Song of Songs, Ten Modern Arab Poets, and Kurdish Poems of Love and Liberty. He also published prose memoirs of his literary acquaintances and friends.
O'Grady was a founder member of the European Community of Writers and a member of Aosdána, an honor bestowed to people who have made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland. In 2004, he was the recipient of the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. He also served as the European editor of The Transatlantic Review. He died in 2014 at the age of 78.