Judith Katz

Art Form(s)

Literary Arts, Mixed Media, Performance Art


[email protected]

I am interested in collaborative work.


Artist Statement

Can a Better Understanding of Some Basic Principals of Physics, Chemistry, And Grief Make Me a Better Activist in this time of pandemic, "post" Trump, and the murder of George Floyd? I'll be exploring this and other questions for at least the next five years.

My official “training” is in playwriting-- in the early 1970’s I worked with Len Berkman as an undergrad at Smith College, and again as a grad student in the early ‘80’s. In between, I worked as both an actor and a playwright under Megan Terry and JoAnn Schmidman at the Omaha Magic Theatre, went back to Northampton, MA where I co-founded Chrysalis Theatre Eclectic with five other activist writer/performers; and ultimately came to Minneapolis in the mid 1980’s where I wrote, did some administrating and a little acting At The Foot of the Mountain theatre and ultimately with a group of escaped actors and writers from ATFOM on a serial lesbian soap opera called Toklas, MN.
But all that time, there was a novel working inside me. From the middle of the 1980’s until it was published for the first time in 1992 by Nancy K. Bereano’s Firebrand Books, I was working on a book that went by many names – The Monster in My Mother’s House and The Vildachia of New Chelm for example—but would ultimately be called Running Fiercely Toward a High Thin Sound, which won that year’s Lambda Literary Award for best lesbian fiction. Four years later, Bereano published my second novel, The Escape Artist, which follows the exploits of a Jewish sleight of hand artist and her concubine lover as they work to outsmart a gang of pimps and strongmen in 1920’s Jewish Buenos Aires. Both novels were recently re-issued by Bywater Books.
In addition to the 1992 Lammy, I have also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Minnesota State Arts Board; the Bush; and McKnight Foundations. In 2018 I was named to the Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame.
My plays have been produced by The Washington Area Feminist Theatre; The Omaha Magic Theatre; Chrysalis Theatre Eclectic; and At the Foot of the Mountain.
Short pieces of my fiction can be found in Sinister Wisdom, Evergreen Chronicles, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives, as well as the anthologies, The Original Coming Out Stories, The Penguin Book of Women’s Humor, and Tasting Life Twice: Literary Lesbian Fiction by New American Writers. Most recently, my work has appeared in on-line journals Tablet Magazine; Lambda Literary Review; and The Seattle Lesbian.
After a couple of decades of adjunct teaching at the University of Everywhere (Hamline University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, University of Minnesota, etc. etc.), I have settled into a steady job advising English and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies majors at the University of Minnesota from which I retired in 2020, just as the pandemic set in.

Work Samples

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