Of Irish American heritage, Susan Donnelly was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, and raised in Brookline, outside of Boston. She earned a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Her poetry collections are Eve Names the Animals (1985), winner of the Samuel French Morse Prize, Transit (2001), and Capture the Flag (2009).

 Donnelly’s poems have been published in numerous anthologies, including The Norton Introduction to Poetry (1985), Vital Signs (1989), and The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (2007).