Finuala Dowling was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1962. Her first volume of poetry, I Flying, won the Ingrid Jonker Prize and her second collection, Doo-Wop Girls of the Universe, was joint winner of the SANLAM award. Her third volume of poetry, Notes from the dementia ward won the Olive Schreiner Prize. She has appeared as a guest poet at the Aldeburgh festival and at Snape Maltings in the UK, and at all of South Africa’s major literary festivals. In May-June of 2012 she appeared with other South African poets at the Biennale Internationale des Poètes en Val-de-Marne in Paris.
Finuala is the author of three novels, the most recent of which — Homemaking for the Down-at-Heart — won the 2012 MNet prize for fiction.
Finuala has a Masters and doctorate in English literature. She writes textbooks, runs poetry workshops and occasionally gives lectures.