Posted: Wednesday December 2, 2015
With saddened hearts and gratitude for her contributions to literature and the arts, we join the Canadian literary community in mourning the recent passing of Judith Fitzgerald. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Fitzgerald passed away peacefully in her northern Ontario home on November 25, 2015, two weeks after her 63rd birthday. She was a passionate devotee of the arts and had an unyielding love of language that fulfilled vocations as a poet, editor, journalist, and critic.
Fitzgerald authored more than two dozen books of poetry, including Rapturous Chronicles (1996), shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, Habit of Blues: Rapturous Chronicles II (1993), and River (1995), shortlisted for the Trillium Award. Given Names: New and Selected Poems (1985) was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and won the Writers’ Choice Award.
In the 1980s as a critic for the Globe and Mail, Fitzgerald received the Fiona Mee Award for Literary Journalism. “Fitzgerald is perhaps best known for her newspaper blog/column that fearlessly achieves the remarkable feat of raising the Globe and Mail to the condition of poetry,” writes Garry Thomas Morse in Jacket 2. She also penned a music column for the Toronto Star and worked in radio, where she created Today’s Country, a worldwide syndicated program that was the recipient of a Canadian Country Music Association Award.
Fitzgerald’s biographies include two on Sarah McLachlan: Building a Mystery: The Story of Sarah McLachlan and Lilith Fair (1997) and Sarah McLachlan: Building a Mystery (2000), as well as the one on Marshall McLuhan (his official biography): Marshall McLuhan: Wise Guy (2001).
Fitzgerald was also the recipient of the 2003 Chalmers Arts Fellowship for poetry, and has served as writer-in-residence for the Hamilton Public Library, Algoma University College, Laurentian University, and the University of Windsor.
She edited Un Dozen: Thirteen Canadian Poets, SP/ELLES: Poetry by Canadian Women, and First Person Plural, published by Black Moss Press in Windsor, as well as Bagne, or, Criteria for Heaven, by rob mclennan, published by Fredericton’s Broken Jaw Press.
Fitzgerald’s last book of poetry, Impeccable Regret, was published in Fall 2015 and launched at BookFest Windsor to critical acclaim.
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