Sally Valentine: Poet Interview

2014 April PAD Challenge countdown: 5. We’re getting so very close to the beginning of this year’s challenge. I hope your pencils are sharpened, your paper is uncrumpled, and your mind is open to the world around you–or something like that (I have 5 kids; so I know it’s not always that idyllic).

Sally Valentine

Sally Valentine

Sally Valentine is a native of Rochester, NY. After teaching math for 25 years in the Rochester City School District, she is now off on a tangent of writing. Her love for kids, books, and Rochester led her to write a series of novels for intermediate grade kids which are each set in a different Rochester landmark. Her latest work is There Are No Buffalo in Buffalo, a collection of poetry for kids. Each poem is about a different place in New York State. This collection just won first prize in the Middle-Grade/Young Adult Books category of the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. When not writing, she can be found reading, solving puzzles of all kinds, or walking around beautiful western New York. She lives in Walworth, NY with her husband, Gary. Her grandchildren, Evan and Molly, are her newest source of inspiration.

Sally also included an aside to me, which I want to share with the group, “William Preston and I live in the same small town and belong to the same writer’s group. He is just as kind and encouraging in person as he is online.” What a great small town that must be!

Here’s Sally’s Top 25 poem:

Broke, by Sally Valentine

He wanted to break her
like his daddy broke horses.
Free reign at first, then tighter, tighter.

She wanted to break him,
of speeding cars, careless spending,
thoughts of other women.

Their break-up was inevitable.


Who are your favorite poets?

My favorite poets are e.e. cummings and Billy Collins.

As a reader, what do you like in poems?

I like poems with simple words that make me see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

What was your goal for the 2013 April PAD Challenge?

My number one goal for the 2013 PAD Challenge was to finish with 30 poems. Secondly, I hoped that I’d be able to use some of them to start a new collection for kids about the 20th century. I was very pleased to have six that fit that category.

What’s next for you?

What’s next for me is adding more poems to that collection. I want to have one poem for each year.


Workshop your poetry!

Beginning in May, poets will have the opportunity to put their poems through a workshop environment with an online mentor.

Click here to learn more.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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5 thoughts on “Sally Valentine: Poet Interview

  1. tunesmiff

    If I may,, allow me to add my “congrats” as well, along with my “liking” of your poem.

    Looking forward to what April brings out in & of all of us.



  2. PressOn

    It’s a special pleasure to comment here. Sally is the one who introduced me to this forum, for which I’m grateful. In addition, her skill as a writer, prose and poetry both, is an inspiration to me and to all of us in our writing group. The poem here is but a small sample of that. Congratulations, Sally, and thanks. Bill Preston


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