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In late 2018 our friend, colleague and fearless defender of free expression, Judith Rodríguez passed away. To celebrate Judith’s amazing life and contribution, PEN Perth is holding a reading of her work on what would have been her 83rd birthday, the 13th of February. All welcome.
Judith Rodríguez was a distinguished Australian poet and human rights advocate. She served the PEN community for many years in many roles, both locally and internationally. Judith published numerous volumes of poetry, some illustrated by her own woodcuts. The title poem of her first solo collection, ‘nu-plastik fanfare red: and other poems’ (1973), has remained an anthology favourite. Judith was much loved in Australian and international writing communities as a mentor, teacher, and supporter of emerging writers. From 1979 to 1982, she was poetry editor for Meanjin, and from 1988 to 1997 she was a poetry editor with Penguin Australia. She taught at universities on four continents and read her poetry in Europe, North America, and India. In 1994, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to literature. This is just one of her many awards and accomplishments. She is survived by her four children: Sibila, Ensor, Rebeca, and Zoë Rodríguez, and her second husband, Tom Shapcott.