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Valerie was born and grew up in Clarendon, Jamaica. Caribbean life and culture have shaped or influenced a great deal of her writing. She was enchanted with literature from a very early age. When she was a child she used to climb trees and write her poems and stories up there. Nowadays, she writes everywhere - in the bath, in bed, on trains, in hotel rooms, wherever she can!
Valerie moved to England in 1979. Here she began writing and performing regularly, having tried her hand as a librarian, arts officer and even steel band instructor! Her work has been published in over 450 anthologies, including GCSE and A-Level syllabi. She has published several poetry collections including The World is Sweet, Hot Like Fire and Whoop an Shout. Her two novels for young people are Surprising Joy and The Tribe.
As well as running writing workshops and courses in schools and elsewhere, Valerie performs across the country as well as internationally. She has appeared everywhere from local libraries to the Royal Albert Hall and is also a familiar voice on television and radio.
Valerie lives with her family in Kent and is inspired by everything around her, from the late September sunshine to the antics of her husband and children. When she is not writing her stories and poems, she loves gardening and growing fresh fruit and vegetables in her allotment. She also grows bonsai trees and has set up a bonsai society in Kentand also in St Lucia.
Hot Like Fire (Bloomsbury)
Fruits, illustrated by David Axtell (Macmillan Children's Books)
Let Me Touch the Sky: Selected Poems (Macmillan Children's Books)
One River, Many Creeks: Poems for All Around the World, edited by Valerie Bloom (Macmillan children's books)
The Tribe (Macmillan Children's Books)
“Hot Like Fire and Other Poems exhibits (Bloom's) strengths: her relish for the peculiarities of language (whether it’s turns of phrase or word play), her storytelling skills, her emotional sensitivity, her sense of fun, her ability to enter into a child’s world, and, above all, her love of rhythm and the pure sound and pattern of words . . . These are the strengths of a poet who, while never stooping to easy crowd pleasing, can enthral an audience with the pure magic of her words.”
Books for Keeps