• Poetry Out Loud National Finals, May 3-4, 2016: Join Us Online via Live Webcast and Social Media

    Poetry Out Loud National Finals, May 3-4, 2016: Join Us Online via Live Webcast and Social Media
  • Interview with POL 2015 Champ Maeva Ordaz

    Interview with POL 2015 Champ Maeva Ordaz
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    Catch up with 2013 Champ Langston Ward
  • Video of 2015 Champ Maeva Ordaz at the National Storytelling Festival

    Video of 2015 Champ Maeva Ordaz at the National Storytelling Festival
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    Get Involved! Hear what students and teachers have to say about Poetry Out Loud.
Jean  Valentine

Jean Valentine

Valentine's lyric poems delve into dream lives with glimpses of the personal and political. In the New York Times Book Review, David Kalstone said of her work, “Valentine has a gift for tough strangeness, but also a dreamlike syntax and manner of

Listening
by Jean Valentine

My whole life I was swimming listening
beside the daylight world like a dolphin beside a boat

—no, swallowed up, young, like Jonah,
sitting like Jonah in the red room
behind that curving smile from the other side

but kept, not spat out,