Denyse Woods was born in Boston, USA, in 1958. She has travelled extensively, living in the USA, Belgium, Australia, Italy, Iraq and England, before returning to settle in Ireland in 1987. She obtained a BA in Arabic and English in 1981, and subsequently worked as a translator for PARC Management Services in Iraq, where she shared a terrace with Saddam Hussein. In 1988 she won the Irish Times Short Story Competition. She now lives in County Cork with her husband and two daughters.