Catherynne M. Valente

(5 May 1979 / Seattle, Washington)

Catherynne M. Valente
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Catherynne M. Valente (born Bethany L. Thomas) is a Tiptree–, Andre Norton–, and Mythopoeic Award–winning novelist, poet, and literary critic. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, the World Fantasy Award–winning anthologies Salon Fantastique and Paper Cities, along with numerous Year's Best volumes. Her critical work has appeared in the International Journal of the Humanities under the name Bethany L. Thomas as well as in the essay anthology Chicks Dig Time Lords. She keeps a blog at and currently lives on Peaks Island in the state of Maine with her husband. Valente has also published five books of poetry and won the Rhysling Award for speculative poetry.

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  • Marquis De Piro(4/28/2012 5:01:00 AM)

    She's clearly got it - perhaps I should not have used 'clearly'. I have often stopped half way through a poem, but not with Valente - she transmits the need to read on.

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Best Poem of Catherynne M. Valente

Glass, Blood, And Ash


Please, silk-​​sister, do this thing for me.

I do not want to sit on that broad-​​backed horse,
or smell his skin, grassy and hot as boiled husks,
inside a shirt ropy with gold tassels and primogeniture.

I never wanted it. I just
wanted to look like you
for one night. It should be you
hoisted up like a sack of wheat—
I stole your ruby comb,
your garnet pendant.
It must have been
your jewels he loved.

You will like it — they will put emeralds in your hair
and a thin gold crown on your ...

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