Poet, prose writer and playwright. Her poetry debut Ludwig (1999) and her second collection Není nutné, abyste mě navštěvoval (There Is No Need for You to Visit Me, 2001) have established her as one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary Czech poetry. In 2014, she won the prestigious Magnesia Litera Award for her collection Chůze po dunách (Walking on Dunes, 2013). She has also published a collection of interlinked short stories, Noci, Noci (Nights, Nights, 2004). Her plays have been translated and staged in various countries, including the United Kingdom as part of the Royal Court Theatre’s international residency project. Selections of her poetry have been published in Austria, Serbia, Greece, and the United Kingdom.
She graduated in Creation of Texts and Scripts from the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory and the Czech University of Life Sciences. Her debut work was the collection Ludwig (Klokočí, 1999), whose title and content are loosely inspired by the character of Ludwig from the play Thomas Bernhard. As Marie Langerová writes in Lidové noviny, “In the poetry collection Ludwig, every word emanates cranked-up destruction, and at the same time it is as if this motion slowly shifts whole images into other places and other bodies.”
The second collection Není nutné, abyste mě navštěvoval (No Need for You to Visit Me, Klokočí, 2001) freed itself from the shackles of artistic templates. “In place of the earlier realistic characters and specific urban or rural landscape, there arises a deserted house and in it a dusty room ‘on the edge of anything’. In the fading outlines of things which seem to have slipped into a dream, the last point of reference is the word and verse: “I live within language, to which / I consign everything that happens”,” writes critic Radim Kopáč.
The prose works brought together in the short-story collection Noci, noci (Nights, Nights, Torst, 2004) are linked by Anna, a character with autobiographical traits, who first struggles to come to terms with childhood traumas so that she can eventually try (rather unsuccessfully) to form relationships with men. In it Rudčenková has a distinctive voice; she speaks of the everyday, but in a harsh, almost belligerent way; with her, even her lovers cannot be sure of anything – all the more so because she doesn’t incorporate them into her literature: “Women’s literature starts to get good at the point where it stops worrying about the fact that it is women’s. Rudčenková doesn’t worry about it – it just is. Reading her work means listening to her talking about herself. Even when she tries to speak for more people, it is only she who is speaking. She can’t help it,” writes Štefan Švec in Právo.
This was followed by the poetry collection Popel a slast (Ashes and Delight, Klokočí, 2004) and, after a gap, by Chůze po dunách (Walking on Dunes, Fra, 2013), which brought out poems from the years 2008–2012. For this collection the author was awarded the Magnesia Litera prize for 2014 in the category of poetry. As Markéta Kittlová writes on iLiteratura.cz, “The poems emanate carefulness, circumspection and patient consideration. The groundwork for most of them is composed of movement, specifically walking. Walking serves as a source of inner strength which pulses throughout this outwardly calm and patient collection.”
Rudčenková is also the author of four stage plays; for Niekur she was awarded 2nd place in the Alfréd Radok Awards, and it was staged by the Prague theatre Divadlo Ungelt.