Author

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Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014)

“In Sirs & Madams, tones of birth and death compel deftly-drawn characters whose “veins are everywhere.” On the surface, a tight form takes hold: Valente has real command over her structure and voice. But underneath, the nuance blooms; the poems are at once gritty, feminine, natural and morose. This book needs to tell its story and you need to listen. One gets the feeling that reading this book will set someone free. Who is it? You decide.”

— Lisa Marie Basile, author of APOCRYPHAL


 
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The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015)

“These are poems of ritual and sacrifice, where ethereal meaning gets rightfully dismembered and earthy truths read. The Gods Are Dead invokes the rich symbolism of Tarot with lyrical precision, and lends a creative myth to consciousness. Joanna C. Valente writes with the kind of raw energy we all wish we could channel into life.”

— Lucas Hunt, author of Lives and Light on the Concrete





 
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Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016)

“The"stranger” in Joanna Valente’s Xenos writes herself into being, sifting through the detritus of a life that spans Maine, Brooklyn, and a boat to Greece. These are poems of sisterhood, motherhood, self-preservation, desire. Inverse as dangerous and illuminating as berry-stained lips under a clear Aegean moon, Xenos reminds us that we are at once self and not-self, invention and memory, family and exile.“

— Sophia Starmack, author of Wild Rabbit 

 
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Marys of the Sea, (The Operating System, 2017)

“Visceral in its fearlessness and candor, Valente’s Marys of the Sea is a bravely, nuanced exploration of the subversive and sensual tensions that pulse in language and flesh. Marys of the Sea speaks of wounds, wombs, regeneration, and how experiences, particularly for women, undulate against a mythos of loneliness that can, without mastery and witnessing, devour. Valente writes, “In other languages my heart/beats us both alive, wedges/between words I speak…/” Here, it is only poetry that can begin to examine the blue underside of Valente’s world and the oceanic perspectives of love that end and begin endlessly in the body, both feeding and killing at once. Valente’s lyric is sinewy and spiritual. A whole world strands itself beautifully in the stunning eyes of Valente’s intuition and intelligence. Always aware of what poetry demands even while it is breaking us apart, Valente’s poems survive wholly in their heart-break: “Early bloomer, still waiting for the one poem/ that will bring me home.’”

— Rachel Eliza Griffiths, author of Lighting the ShadowMule & Pear, The Requited Distance, and Miracle Arrhythmia

 
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Sexting Ghosts (Unknown Press, 2018)

“How do you grieve for someone, something still living? How do you grieve the dead without dying yourself? How do you grieve your living self while grieving the ghosts you carry while living? And how, finally, can any of us live in the midst of so much malicious effort to make our lives worthless? Joanna C. Valente’s power- ful, precise SEXTING GHOSTS takes risks with form, voice, language and content to show us how. “Describe a usual day / I am shrinking while this tiny ball / grows another liver inside my lungs,” Valente says, perhaps in a ghost’s voice. Then, we’re offered “the hands of two elk-faced / angels spilling medieval suns/ through their mouths as if to sing” us through “original sin, this / loneliness we are all born with.” Sometimes, it’s as if our ghosts are what keep us alive, ghosts we may not always be able to separate from our angels. Are we home to them, or they our homes after all? “[T]here is no home in america/for us.”“

— Jay Besemer, author of Crybaby City, Chelate, Telephone and The Ways of the Monster

 
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No(body) (Madhouse Press, 2019)

"Writing poetry about pop culture is a gift and Joanna C. Valente shares their poetic skills in this magnificent chapbook No(body).This Brooklyn poet connects with their love of Scully, Mulder, and Walter Skinner with such spectacularly memorable lines as “all tangled by ivy and dirt and breath.” Two of my favorites in this collection are inspired by cartoons as Valente shows their love of Meatwad and Skeeter Valentine with some enchantingly animated lines as “our moms. Will be quivering in the dark like crystalline guitars.” Joanna C. Valente’s pop culture inspired verses are music to my ears. Speaking of music, “Beyoncé Says” is the most empowering poems in this collection. You can feel the singer’s presence throughout every line of this dynamic poem. “Because everything looks better in reflection” is one of my favorite lines in this outstanding collection. What makes No(body) an electrifying revelation is the way Valente embraces the sounds, the sights, and the memories of shows we love by reflecting them with their unique timelessly vivid voice that light up the pages of this riveting collection. If you are a devoted fan of the X-Files, Adult Swim cartoons, and Beyoncé, then Joanna C. Valente’s No(body) is the poetry chapbook you must devour and experience over and over again.”

       — Adrian Ernesto Cepeda is the author of Flashes & Verses…Becoming Attractions and Between the Spine.

Editor

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