Jean Valentine (1934-2020) was born in Chicago, earned her B.A. from Radcliffe College, and lived most of her life in New York City. She won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her first book, Dream Barker, in 1965. Her 13th book of poetry was Shirt in Heaven published by Copper Canyon Press in 2015. Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965-2003 won the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry.
Her many honors included a Guggenheim Fellowship and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bunting Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York Council for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as the Maurice Prize, the Teasdale Poetry Prize, The Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Prize, and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Valentine taught at Sarah Lawrence, New York University, and Columbia University.