Judith McDaniel
Judith McDaniel



Judith lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she has resided for nearly twenty years, because it is possible to be outdoors and active twelve months out of the year. She has been a camper and hiker her entire life.

Judith teaches courses at the University of Arizona—Women and the Law for Political Science and Society and the Individual for Women's Studies. Her Ph.D. from Tufts University is in Victorian English Literature, but she has taught for 30 years in an array of venues—universities, colleges, community centers, prisons, career schools— in English Departments and Women's Studies and Religious Studies Departments and Social Science and Political Science Departments.

Judith attended law school in 2004 (earning a J.D. from Rutgers University) so that she would have the information and skills to be a more effective advocate. In many ways, whether writing poetry, fiction, or political essays, her central life work has been that of an advocate.

Judith has written and published three novels, three books of poetry, a book of nonfiction and placed dozens of articles, stories, and poems in anthologies and journals. She loves to write, and writes about events in her life, the work she is doing, the causes that move her, and the solutions she'd like to propose. In her writing, she argues, persuades, and appeals to reason and emotion. She has always been fascinated by the possibility of learning new ways to think and argue.

The title of her most recent book of poems is Taking Risks. Judith is not writing about taking physical risks, although several of the poems are about running rapids on various western rivers in a variety of boats. The risks the title refers to are those that come with the willingness to love—to love other people, to love a place like the desert or a river, to love the struggle that comes with living a full and committed life. "Loving," she writes in the preface, "is the risk we have to be willing to take in order to encounter any of those things that allegedly come to us in maturity: the ability to experience intimacy, to grow in personal and spiritual complexity and joy, to engage in honest dialogue, to make art. Loving expands our heart space…."