Jean Valentine (born April 27, 1934) is an American poet and was the New York State Poet Laureate from 2008–2010. Her poetry collection, Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003, was awarded the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry.
Her most recent book, Shirt In Heaven, was published in 2015 by Copper Canyon Press. Before that, Break the Glass (Copper Canyon Press, 2010) was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her first book, Dream Barker, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 1965. She has published poems widely in literary journals and magazines, including The New Yorker, and Harper's Magazine, and The American Poetry Review. Valentine was one of five poets including Charles Wright, Russell Edson, James Tate and Louise Glück, whose work Lee Upton considered critically in The Muse of Abandonment: Origin, Identity, Mastery in Five American Poets (Bucknell University Press, 1998). She has held residencies from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Ucross, and the Lannan foundation, among others.
She was born in Chicago, United States, received bachelor of arts and a master of arts degrees at Radcliffe College, and has lived most of her life in New York City. She has taught with the Graduate Writing Program at New York University, at Columbia University, at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, and at Sarah Lawrence College. She is a faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was married to the late American historian James Chace from 1957–1968, and they have two daughters, Sarah and Rebecca.
- Full-length poetry collections
- Shirt in Heaven (2015, Copper Canyon Press)
- Break the Glass (2010, Copper Canyon Press)
- Little Boat (2007, Wesleyan University Press)
- Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003 (2004, Wesleyan University Press) —winner of the National Book Award
- The Cradle of the Real Life (2000, Wesleyan University Press)
- Growing Darkness, Growing Light (1997, Carnegie Mellon University Press)
- The Under Voice: Selected Poems (1995, Salmon Publishing)
- The River at Wolf (1992, Alice James Books)
- Night Lake (1992, Press of Appletree Alley: limited edition of 150, hand-bound, illustrated by Linda Plotkin.)
- Home Deep Blue: New and Selected Poems (1989, Alice James Books)
- The Messenger (1979, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
- Ordinary Things (1974, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
- Pilgrims (1969, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
- Dream Barker, and Other Poems (1965, Yale University Press)
- Anthology publications
- Leaving New York: Writers Look Back (Hungry Mind Press, 1995)
- Anthologies edited
- The Lighthouse Keeper: Essays on the Poetry of Eleanor Ross Taylor (Hobart & William Smith, 2001).
Awards and honors
- 2004 National Book Award for Poetry (for Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003)
- 1999 Shelley Memorial Award
- 1991 Maurice English Poetry Award
- 1988 Beatrice Hawley Award (for Home Deep Blue: New and Selected Poems)
- 1976 Guggenheim Fellowship
- 1972 National Endowment for the Arts - Literature Fellowship in Poetry 
- 1965 Yale Series of Younger Poets
- Sarah Lawrence College > News & Events: Jean Valentine, Poetry Faculty Member Since 1974, Named New York State Poet for 2008-2010 > March 13, 2008
- "National Book Awards – 2004". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
(With acceptance speech by Valentine, essay by Dilruba Ahmed from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog, and other material.)
- "Poetry". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- The New Yorker > Poetry > Hawkins Stable > by Jean Valentine > March 9, 2009
- Harper's Magazine Poem: Forces > by Jean Valentine
- Library of Congress Online Catalog: Jean Valentine
- The MacDowell Colony > Index of Fellows
- Lannan Foundation > Past Residents
- Vermont College of Fine Arts — Faculty
- Ploughshares > Authors & Articles > About Jean Valentine > by Amy Newman > Winter 2008 - 2009
- NEA Literature Fellowships - Creative Writing Fellows
- Library of Congress Online Catalog
- Author Website > Jean Valentine: Books/Bio
- Author Website > Jean Valentine C.V.
- The New York Times > A Poet in Yonkers > by Hershenson, Roberta > Nov. 28, 2004, section 14WC, p. 13
- Academy of American Poets > Jean Valentine
- Publishers Weekly Review of Door in the Mountain by Reed Business Information (Accessed via the Seattle Public Library and Syndetic Solutions, Inc.)
- Weiner, Tim. "James Chace, Foreign Policy Thinker, Is Dead at 72". The New York Times (Late East Coast edition), October 11, 2004, p. B.7. (Accessed via ProQuest, Document ID 710384891)
- Novel Guide
- Jean Valentine website
- Video: Poetry Reading: Jean Valentine
- Poetry Society of America: Crossroads > A Conversation with Jean Valentine > by Eve Grubin
- Jean Valentine Papers Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University
- Audio: Jean Valentine Reading for WNYC Radio
- The American Poetry Review > Jan/Feb 2005 Vol. 34/No. 1 > Jean Valentine