Jean Valentine

A black and white image of a white woman looking downward

Jean Valentine was born in Chicago in 1934. She earned her B.A. from Radcliffe College in 1956, and then moved to New York City, where she spent most of her life. With no prior publication history, her first collection, Dream Barker, was chosen for the prestigious Yale Younger Poets Award in 1965. She then went on to publish thirteen further books of poetry, most recently Shirt in Heaven, and edited a collection of essays, The Lighthouse Keeper: Essays on the Poetry of Eleanor Ross Taylor. Over the years Valentine taught in writing programs at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and Columbia University, and received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1976, and the 2004 National Book Award for Door in the Mountain: New & Collected Poems 1965-2003.

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