Valerie Bloom

Valerie Bloom
Born c.1956 (age 5960)
Clarendon Parish, Jamaica
Occupation Poet, novelist

Valerie Bloom MBE (born 1956)[1][2] is a Jamaican-born poet and a novelist based in the UK.[3] [4][5]

Early years

Born in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, Bloom moved to England in 1979.[6] She attended the University of Kent at Canterbury and earned an honours degree, and was later awarded an honorary Masters degree. She has been living in Kent ever since.

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.[3]


Valerie Bloom has published several collections,[7] the most recent of which is Whoop an' Shout! Her first collection was Touch Mi, Tell Mi, published by Bogle-L'Ouverture in 1983, and this was followed by Duppy Jamboree (Cambridge University Press, 1992), Let me Touch the Sky, The World is Sweet and Hot like Fire. She has also edited a number of collections, including One River Many Creeks and A Twist in the Tale and her poems have appeared in more than three hundred anthologies.

Her first novel was Surprising Joy (2003). Her next novel, The Tribe, was published by Macmillan Children's Books in 2007.

She writes poetry both in English and Jamaican patois. Many of her performances include a "crash course" in patois for audience members unfamiliar with the language. She has performed widely throughout the UK and abroad and has appeared on many radio and TV programmes. In 2005, she made a series of three programmes focusing on Jamaican poetry for BBC Radio 4 entitled Island Voices.

Selected bibliography


Poetry (children’s)


Anthologies (edited)




  1. "Valerie Bloom b. 1956", The Poetry Archive.
  2. Jeffrey Wainwright, Poetry: The Basics (2004), 2nd edition, Routledge, 2011, p. 21.
  3. 1 2 "Valerie Bloom", British Council — Literature.
  4. - Children's Authors.
  5. Valerie Bloom - Victoria and Albert Museum.
  6. Valerie Bloom page at PanMacmillan.
  7. Valerie Bloom - Poetry Archive
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