Since winning the Yale Younger Poets prize in 1965, Jean Valentine has published eight collections of poetry, including The Cradle of the Real Life (2000), to high critical acclaim. Her spare, sharp-edged poems approach Dickinson’s in their risky line-breaks and cosmic ambition, but with an earthiness all their own: “I want, I want. / I want to become round like you there: like God,” she writes.
Click here to listen to Jean Valentine read Emily Dickinson’s “Safe in their alabaster chambers” at the Folger on December 8, 2003.
Click here to listen to Jean Valentine read her poem “Elegy for Jane Kenyon” at the Folger on December 8, 2003.