Nuno Júdice was born in 1949 in Mexilhoeira Grande in Algarve, Portugal. He studied Romance languages and literature and completed his doctorate in medieval studies at the Faculty for Social Sciences and Humanities at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where he taught French and Portuguese literature as an associate professor until 2015.
Júdice wrote his first poems when he was eight years old. He made his début in 1972 with the poetry collection »A Noção do Poema« (tr: The Notion of a Poem), which was followed by over thirty more poetry collections. As early as in his début, the most important themes he addresses in his poetry can be seen: experiments with linguistic and stylistic elements, reflections on literature and its interactions with other art forms, philosophical observations. Although his generation has obviously been influenced by structuralism and numerous references to literature, art history, philosophy, and geography, Júdice’s poems are more than an intellectual exercise because they are so close to reality. »My poetry is profoundly visual. I depart from a memory of beings or objects—a face, a body, nature, urban or familiar scenery—to compose a poem. There is something of the photographic or pictorial in the poetic image, which is mingled with a musical conscience of the language, thus creating a poem as a synthesis of several planes like the world, subjectivity, or the word itself.« In addition to poetry, Júdice also writes novels, scripts, and numerous essay. In 1993, he published an anthology, first published in French, entitled »Voyage dans un siècle de Littérature Portugaise« (tr: Voyage through a Century of Portuguese Literature) about twentieth-century Portuguese literature.
For his extensive literary works, which have been translated into more than twelve languages, Júdice has earned many accolades, including the 1985 PEN Club Prize, the Premio de Associação Portuguesa de Escritores (1995), and the Premio Reina Sofía de Poesía Iberoamericana (2013). He directs the literary journal »Tabacaria«, published by the Casa Fernando Pessoa, and has translated, among others, Corneille’s and Shakespeare’s plays as well as Emily Dickinson’s poems into Portuguese. In 1994, when Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture, Júdice organized a series of events on European poetry. He represented Portugal as a cultural attaché in Paris from 1997 to 2004, where he also directed the Instituto Camões. The Portuguese government named him official delegate to the 1997 Frankfurt Book Fair, which focused on Portugal. Since 2009, he has run the »Colóquio-Letras« literary journal of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. Júdice lives in Lisbon.