kimberley (a.j.k.) o'donnell was born on 24 July 1997, inside an old concrete hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. A second child, with three siblings, o'donnell spent a great deal of her youth within internally constructed realms of imagery and wonder.

o'donnell has always been an artist, and began writing before the age of eight. By fourteen, o'donnell moved out of her childhood home, living in the countryside outside Omaha. Over the course of five years, o'donnell lived in multiple places, before finally settling down. It was during this time of constant uncertainty, that o'donnell began to compile poems from her childhood and works recently written, into the collection Nicoteane and Other Foolish Mistakes. Published in 2015, when o'donnell was seventeen, Nicoteane has been read across the United States and the globe. After the publication of her first work, o'donnell spent the remaining year finishing her high school career in Omaha.

In 2016, o'donnell graduated from Westside High School. Shortly following her graduation, o'donnell received the Youth Courage Award from the Colin Higgins Foundation in Los Angeles. 

Throughout the summer, she continued to draft her second collection, This Void Beckons

o'donnell spent the early months of the 2016 Autumn Term enrolled at The University of Iowa, where she studied Philosophy and Creative Writing, but withdrew in order to finish her upcoming collection.

O'DONNELL IN 2016 | Courtesy of   Joshua Foo Photography

O'DONNELL IN 2016 | Courtesy of Joshua Foo Photography

My literary career will always be focused on investigating the human experience in an intimate, yet universal, fashion. I hope to remain a constant voice of the mundane, the unconsidered, and the improbably prophetic events of the human narrative
— a.j.k. o'donnell

In 2018, at the age of twenty, o'donnell released her second collection with Cracked Jar Press. Cracked Jar Press will also release her forthcoming debut novel, What the Crevice Holds, and the second edition of her first work, Nicoteane and Other Foolish Mistakes. o'donnell's writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, with her 2017 series entitled A Life in Transitionsthe Outrider ReviewThe Daily Iowan, and most recently on Medium

In 2018, she traveled the country on a national book tour for This Void Beckons. o'donnell resides in the Midwest, where she is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree, intersecting the studies of language, culture, religion, and literature.


Learn more about o'donnell, her personal journey, and the work she speaks on below: