Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Judith Valente  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry


-- Website --
-- Valente Judith on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Judith is a Chicago-based on-air correspondent for the PBS show "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly" and Chicago Public Radio.

Biographical and Professional Information

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Inventing an Alphabet
ISBN: 0595521460

iUniverse. 2008

Inventing an Alphabet was selected by Mary Oliver, as one of two co-winners of the 2004 Aldrich Poetry Prize. Oliver described Judith Valente's poetry as pointing to the "universe of the human mind." Offered "abundantly to metaphor," her poems embrace "an active and even frisky language" that engages us "in a kind of rickrack stroll, enjoying the fulsome ride toward summation."Several poems previously won individual prizes ("conjugating" was included in the Best Catholic Writing, 2004, and "Body and Soul" won the 2005 Jo-Anne Hirshfield Poetry Prize). Her writing has appeared in Afterhours, Folio, Tri-Quarterly, Rhino, and two anthologies.

Discovering Moons
ISBN: 0979882583

Virtual Artists Collective. 2009

Judith Valente's poems are deeply rooted in the everyday world, and yet transport us to a place in the soul, a place that C.S. Lewis once described as "the real, real world." She is a poet concerned with those moments that telescope the sacred in the ordinary, offer a clarifying vision of what it means to be human, and remind us we are part of something larger than ourselves. These are love poems to life, whether she is writing about a lunar eclipse, the origin of the alphabet, the art of finding beauty in flaws, or an imagined stroll with William Carlos Williams. The poems contain a keen sense of place. They transport us to a summer parade in rural Illinois, a beach under stars on the island of Maui, a sacred festival in Chiang Mai, a classroom in a Catholic girls school in northern New Jersey. In language that is at once accessible and inventive, these open-handed poems remind us it is a miracle simply to be alive.


  • Aldrich Poetry Prize, ''Inventing an Alphabet''

    Speaking Engagements

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