Jean Valentine, National Book Award-Winning Poet

March 9th, 2006 by Adam

The Eagle Pond Authors’ Series at Plymouth State University will present a reading and reception with Jean Valentine at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 2 at the Silver Center for the Arts.

From the beginning, Valentine’s work has been recognized. She won the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1965 for her first book, Dream Barker; and her most recent collection, Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965 – 2003 won the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry. In between she has been granted more than a dozen fellowships, residencies and grants.

The University Press of New England describes Valentine as “a brave, unshirking poet who speaks with fire on the great subjects—love, and death, and the soul. Her images—strange, canny visions of the unknown self—clang with the authenticity of a real experience.”

Valentine has resided in New York City for most of her life, teaching at Sarah Lawrence College, the graduate writing program at New York University, Columbia University and the 92nd Street Y. She has also taught at Swarthmore, Barnard, City College of New York, Yale, University of Cincinnati, Bucknell, American University in Washington, D.C., the University of Pittsburgh and Hunter College.

Grace Paley once commented, “After reading a couple of Jean Valentine’s poems I need to catch my breath. Then I read further—maybe two or three to quiet myself, which happens for a while. But then I put the book down, breathless.”

The Eagle Pond Authors’ Series is named in honor of Donald Hall, who lives at Eagle Pond Farm in Wilmot, a family homestead which has inspired much of his writing. This is the eighth season for the series, which is supported by a generous grant from Barnes & Noble PSU Bookstore. There is no charge for admission, but free tickets are required. Contact the Silver Center box office at 535-ARTS. Box office hours are noon – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and one hour before performances.

Donald Hall will present the final reading in the 2005-2006 series at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 7.

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.