Marie Heaney was born in County Tyrone, Ireland. She trained as a teacher in Northern Ireland and received a Master's degree in Irish Studies at University College, Dublin. She writes for both television and newspapers. Her collection for adults, Over Nine Waves, A Book of Irish Legends is also published by Faber. She says about the stories in The Names Upon the Harp: “What ensures their place in world literature is their timelessness, their value as expressions of the perennial art of the storyteller.'
Marie Heaney lives in Dublin with her husband, the poet Seamus Heaney, and their three children.