c. 1956 (age 59–60)|
Clarendon Parish, Jamaica
Born in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, Bloom moved to England in 1979. 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.
Valerie Bloom has published several collections, 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.
- Touch Mi! Tell Mi! (Bogle-L’Ouverture Press, 1983)
- Jaws and Claws and Things With Wings (Harper Collins, 2013)
- Whoop an’ Shout (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2003)
- Hot Like Fire (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2002)
- The World Is Sweet (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2000)
- Let Me Touch The Sky (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2000)
- Fruits (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2000)
- Ackee, Breadfruit, Callaloo (Bogle-L’Ouverture and Macmillan Caribbean, 1999)
- Duppy Jamboree (Cambridge University Press, 1992)
- The Tribe (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2007)
- Surprising Joy (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2003)
- A Twist in the Tale (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2005)
- One River Many Creeks (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2003)
- On a Camel to the Moon (Belitha Press [now Chrysalis Books], 2001)
- On Good Form – Poetry Made Simple (Apples & Snakes, 2005)
- Valerie Bloom (Poetry Archive, 2006)
- Yuh Hear Bout? (58 Productions, 1998)
- "Valerie Bloom b. 1956", The Poetry Archive.
- Jeffrey Wainwright, Poetry: The Basics (2004), 2nd edition, Routledge, 2011, p. 21.
- "Valerie Bloom", British Council — Literature.
- Bloomsbury.com - Children's Authors.
- Valerie Bloom - Victoria and Albert Museum.
- Valerie Bloom page at PanMacmillan.
- Valerie Bloom - Poetry Archive
- Official Valerie Bloom website
- Valerie Bloom website on Authors Abroad School Author Visits
- Granny Is
- A Journey Through the Senses