Bloom, Valerie

(1956- )
   Born in Clarendon, Jamaica, she came to England in 1979 and graduated in English with African and Caribbean studies from the University of Kent, and in 1995 she was awarded an honorary master's degree by the same university. She lives in Kent with her husband and three children and spends her time writing, performing, conducting writing courses and visiting schools and colleges. She writes poetry both in English and the Jamaican patois for readers of all ages. She has had residencies in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and has performed widely in the Caribbean and at the Edinburgh World of Music Art and Dance (WOMAD) and Hay on Wye Festivals. Her collection Fruit won Américas Honor Award (U.S.) and the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Bronze, 1997). Some of her recent poetry publications: On a Camel to the Moon and Other Poems About Journeys, 2001 (illustrator, Garry Parsons). Hot Like Fire, 2002. Surprising Joy, 2003 (children). Whoop an' Shout! 2003 (illustrator, David Dean) (children). On Good Form: Poetry Made Simple, 2006. Some of her poems: "For Michael," "Life in Uncle Sam's Backyard," "Sun-a-shine, Rain-afall," "Wat a Rain."
   Sources: A Twist in the Tale. Valerie Bloom, ed. Macmillan Children's Books, 2005. Ain't I a Woman! A Book of Women's Poetry from Around the World. Illona Linthwaite, ed. Peter Bedrick Books, 1988. British Council Arts (http://www.contemporarywriters.com). Caribbean Poetry Now. Stewart Brown, ed. Edward Arnold, 1992. One River, Many Creeks: Poems from All Around the World. Valerie Bloom, ed. Macmillan Children's Books, 2003. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Faber Book of Vernacular Verse. Tom Paulin, Faber & Faber, 1990. The New British Poetry, 1968-1988. Gillian Allnutt, Fred D'Aguiar and Ken Edwards, ed. Grafton Books, 1989. The New Oxford Book of Children's Verse. Neil Philip, ed. Oxford University Press, 1996. The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse in English. Paula Burnett, ed. Penguin Books, 1986. Valerie Bloom's Home Page (http://www.valbloom.co.uk/).Watchers and Seekers: Creative Writing by Black Women in Britain. Rhonda Cobham, and Merle Collins, ed. Peter Bedrick Books, 1988.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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