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Jean Valentine, 1965-2010 and undated

Reference Code: GBR/1058/COO/4

Scope and Contents

From the Fonds:

The collection consists of correspondence, poetry and prose received by Barrie Cooke and original artwork produced by him. The principal correspondents are Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Jean Valentine and John Montage, and their letters along with their poetry and prose are to be found in the archive. There is also a large series of correspondence from poets and artists resident in Ireland, the United Kingdom and America, often consisting of just 1 or 2 letters from each correspondent but showing Cooke's wide circle of friends and interests.


  • Creation: 1965-2010 and undated


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

The Archive reading room is open by appointment, Wednesdays-Fridays, but all visits must be booked in advance. Photographs may not be taken of the Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes material without the permission of the Estates. The Archivist can provide further information and contact details for permissions. The remainder of the collection may be photographed for private research, subject to UK copyright provisions. Those wishing to publish from the collection should seek advice from the Archivist prior to publication.

Biographical / Historical

Jean Valentine was born in 1934 in Chicago, USA. She took an arts degree from Radcliffe College but lived most of her life in New York City, USA. Her first book, 'Dream Barker' (illustrated by Cooke), won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 1965. Her poetry collection, 'Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965–2003', was awarded the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry. She was the New York State Poet Laureate from 2008-2010. She was married to the American historian James Chace from 1957-1968, with whom she had two daughters. She married Barrie Cooke in 1991 and lived with him in Ireland before they separated and she returned to America in 1996. Valentine and Cooke remained in contact and continued to correspond after their divorce. Valentine died in December 2020.


0.5 archive box(es)

Related Materials

See also GBR/1058/COO/5/11-12, material relating to Valentine's first husband, James Chase and their daughers, Rebecca and Sarah; GBR/1058/COO/1/3/24, referencing Heaney writing a piece for a book by Valentine. Many of the letters in GBR/1058/COO/5 are addressed to both Cooke and Valentine; and their joint guestbook can be seen in GBR/1058/COO/8/5.

Repository Details

Part of the Pembroke College Library Repository

Pembroke College
Cambridge CB2 1RF United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 764151