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Judith Barrington was born in Brighton, England in 1944 and moved to the United States in 1976. Although she has made her home in Portland, Oregon since then, she spends time each year in Europe doing readings and workshops.

Judith is the author of five poetry collections, two poetry chapbooks, a prizewinning memoir, and a text on writing literary memoir. The poetry books are: Long Love: New and Selected Poems, 1985–2017; The Conversation; Horses and the Human Soul; History and Geography; and Trying to be an Honest Woman. The chapbooks are: Lost Lands (winner of the Robin Becker Chapbook Award) and Postcard from the Bottom of the Sea. She has recorded a CD of selected poems titled Harvest. Prose books are: Lifesaving: A Memoir (winner of the Lambda Book Award and finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir), and Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art, now in its 12th printing.

Her work has been included in many anthologies, including The Long Journey: Pacific Northwest Poets, The Stories That Shape Us: Twenty Women Write About the West, A Formal Feeling Comes, From Here We Speak: An Anthology of Oregon Poetry, The House on Via Gombito, and Hers 3. Her poems and memoirs have been published in many literary journals, including Creative Nonfiction, Narrative Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Americas Review, Kenyon Review, ZYZZVA, The American Voice, Poetry London, 13th Moon, The GSU Review, Sonora Review, and The Chattahoochee Review.

In 2013 she was awarded the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize and was a guest reader at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival in Ireland.

Her other awards include the Andrés Berger Award for Creative Nonfiction, the Dulwich Festival International Poetry Contest, and, with her partner Ruth Gundle, the Stewart H. Holbrook Award for outstanding contributions to Oregon's literary life. She is the co-founder of The Flight of the Mind Writing Workshops, which for seventeen years provided two week-long sessions on the McKenzie River, Oregon, bringing together outstanding teachers and participants from all over the U.S. She is one of the founders of Soapstone.

In 2011 she collaborated with sculptor and artist, Steve Tilden to create a metal sculpture and a sequence of poems for an exhibition of work focused on horses, shown at the Blackfish Gallery with a reading and discussion. She collaborated with New York sculptor Nancy Azara on an artist's book, providing a long poem in six parts entitled "Passages." The work was exhibited at Soho's Donahue/Sosinski Gallery in New York in January of 2000 and praised by the New York Times. The book was also shown at the Froelick Gallery in Portland, Oregon, in 2001.

Other collaborations include writing the librettos for Mother of Us All (released on CD from Omni Records) and Dreamers: A Winter Solstice Extravaganza, both with music by David York. Several of Barrington's poems have been set to music by composers including Salvador Brotons, Margaret Moore, and Christopher Michael Wicks.

Judith was, for many years, on the faculty of the low residency MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Much sought after as a writing teacher, over the past forty years she has taught creative writing at various universities and at many summer writing workshops around the country. In Europe, she has taught and given readings at The Poetry School, the Barbican Centre, The South Bank, The Arvon Foundation, IndianKing Arts Centre, Almàssera Vella, and the Poetry Cafe, as well as various arts festivals and universities.