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last update:

23 Aug23

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and in the shop…
collections –
“A Somersault of Doves”
“air dumplings and paper cutlets”,
George Mann Publications



Once a vicar’s wife, Valerie is now married to a racing driver and mad about green issues, especially badgers, free range hens and children. A love of words has always been her mainstay and her passion.
Her work has been published in several of the poetry presses and prize anthologies: Envoi, Tears in the Fence, Brando’s Hat, Smoke, Fire, Kent and Sussex Anthology, the Exeter Prize Anthology, Poetry Monthly, Dorset Waters, Dorset Contours and the Russell Cotes Museum’s Poetry Under Painted Skies. In 2004, she won Ottaker’s regional poetry prize.
She has a degree in Russian and an MA in Creative Writing and leads a writing group in Sturminster Newton. She taught English, French and German for many years as well as teaching Creative Writing at Yeovil College, and Shaftesbury and at Salisbury Adult Education Evening Classes.
For several years she edited the Friends of Arvon Newsletter and was Chair of the Friends of Arvon.
In 2002, Valerie inherited the Chair of East Street Poets (Blandford) from David Caddy and now runs the Wessex Poetry Festival’s Poetry Platform, involving many local poetry groups. This work has included the running of the Children’s Poetry Competition, and the subsequent publishing of the annual Children’s Anthology, to showcase the winning poems and the work of the many runners-up, and a selection of work by the organisers.
She has two collections of poetry published: A Somersault of Doves (2013) and air dumplings and paper cutlets (2001), both published by George Mann Publications.
Review comments on A Somersault of Doves:

I am stunned by this collection, overwhelmed by the ‘translucent frost’ of it and the interconnection of dark and light, death and birth, of brutal facts and an evocative, mystical vision.


Mandy Pannett


Evocative of time and place, these poems are crafted with sensitivity and a lightness of touch… These are engaging poems: always distilling the truth of what it means to be human.


Moira Clark


… I love the new discoveries of taste, scent and vision – and love – as the family strands bind again on new ground.


Anne Stewart


Review comments on air dumplings and paper cutlets:

… verve and originality … scenes embroidered in silks or the flash of a camera … This is powerful stuff. She crams fear and terror in a few terse lines, takes time to explore a complex difficult relationship… a new and exciting talent


Patricia Bishop


There is at the heart of her poetry a mystical turning and twisting


Mary Maher



Review comments on poems in Tears in the Fence (Issue 69, 2019):

Of “Tramlines ARKANGEL OBLAST 1999-2006”, “The Ice Road” and “Signatures Required In Triplicate”, all three by Valerie Bridge, “ARKANGEL OBLAST”, iambic, is made with an original music, of long, slow lines. like an adagio movement in words; …
Though it’s unrhymed free verse narrative, “Ice Road” has no “twist ending” (the popular preference in imaginative literature). Its palpable tension between the present and a fantasized future, however, is perhaps why she wrote it. “Signatures Required in Triplicate” is sweet, nostalgic and painful as only a Russian narrative can be. These three works clearly come from a deeply personal dimension, including Ms. Bridge’s “exploring her Russian and Latvian heritage” …
One may start reading those anywhere; the violinesque sonority will hold you, enchant and draw you further into music and narrative together. Ensnared by beauty, pulled along by meaning, tears may form, accumulated tensions that the reading incites might condense, hold you, then release themselves into the atmosphere and draw you into reading again, this time from the beginning.


Christine Despardes (NY, USA), in a letter to David Caddy, editor