Josefa Contijoch was born in Manlleu (Plana de Vic), on 20 January, the "year of the downpour", into a family of printers and booksellers. She completed business studies and languages with the Carmelite nuns of Manlleu, after which she studied Philology at the University of Barcelona. She has been on the Women Writers' Committee of the Catalan PEN Club Centre since 1992, the year of its inception as the initiative of Montserrat Abelló and Maria-Mercè Marçal, and she is also a founder-member of the QUARK-POESIA collective.
Her first poetic works, written in Spanish, date back to the 1960s and some years went by before she began to publish in Catalan, with the following works: Quadern de vacances (una lectura d'El segon sexe) (Holiday Notebook (A Reading of "The Second Sex"), 1983), winner of the 1981 CC.OO Miquel Martí i Pol Poetry Prize; Ales intactes (Wings Intact, 1996), winner of the 1994 Salvador Espriu Poetry Prize; Les lentes il·lusions (Slow Illusions, 2001), winner of the 2000 Màrius Torres Prize; Congesta (Snowdrift, 2007), the anthology Ganiveta (2012) and Baix continu (2014). She also writes fiction and has published the novels Potala (1986), La dona liquada (Liquefied Woman, 1990), Els dies infinits (Infinite Days, 2001) and Sense alè (Breathless, 2012; awarded the City of Barcelona, the Crítica Serra d'Or and the Crexells prizes). Again, she has published children's books, works of literary criticism and essays, for example Les vacants (Vacancies, 2005), and is a translator from French.
She was honoured a Creu de Sant Jordi from the Catalan Autonomous (Generalitat) Government. She is a honorary member of Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (AELC – Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Web page: Carme Ros for AELC.
Documentation: author's personal files.
Photographs: © Toni Vidal (Portal); © Xavier Valls; © Teresa Sanz; © Institució de les Lletres Catalanes; author's personal files.