The Feather Boy & Other Poems
Puncher & Wattmann, $25 pb, 136 pp, 9781925780079
Judith Rodriguez, who died in November 2018, was a champion of other people’s causes: the right to be heard, the right to freedom from persecution, the right to refuge when such freedom is denied. She was also a champion of poetry and gave generously of her time and energy to fighting its corner. Generations of fledgling poets profited from her mentoring; generations of students were introduced to the pleasures of Parnassus through her intelligent promotion of fellow poets, notably in her time as poetry editor for Penguin Australia (1988–97).
But there’s the rub: those who give much of themselves to other people’s interests may neglect their own – which in this case is a pity, for Judith was a notable poet and for too long we have not seen enough of her poetry. Many of the poems in this new and abundant collection are on show for the first time, even though some were written considerably earlier.