Valerie Lawson

Valerie Lawson (Poetry) | Robbinston, ME

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Valerie Lawson’s work has been published in Main Street Rag, BigCityLit, About Place Journal, The Catch, Ibbetson Street, and others with work forthcoming on American Arts Quarterly‘s website. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times, Lawson won awards for Best Narrative Poem and Spoken Word at the Cambridge Poetry Awards and was a finalist for the 2015 Rita Dove Award and the 2013 Outermost Poetry Prize. Lawson was a co-host of the Boston Poetry Slam, performed with Doc Brown’s Traveling Poetry Show, and was invited to the first Women of the World Poetry Slam in Detroit as a Legacy Poet. With her partner, Michael Brown, Lawson co-edits Off the Coast literary journal and teaches poetry workshops in New England. She is currently studying Electronic Publishing and Book Arts at the University of Maine Machias. Lawson served on the board of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance from 2013-2015.

Valerie has worked as a bookseller, once worked as a security guard at a Rolls Royce show in Newport, coordinated a literacy program, organized poetry readings and writing groups in Massachusetts and Maine, co-hosted the Boston Poetry Slam, emceed the National Poetry Slam in Sweden, helped create a network of youth poetry slams in southern New England, was invited as a Legacy Poet to the first Women of the World Poetry Slam, and participated in cultural exchanges with Ireland.


Dog Watch (Ragged Sky Press, 2007). Poetry.


  • As Far Away (University of Maine at Machias Press, 2014). Poetry.
  • Ribbon Anvil (Blue-Eyed Dog Press, 2005). Poetry.

Press & Reviews

Vivid, lucid imagery jumps off every page and strikes you with it’s wonderful, lyrical verse. Highly recommended to poetry lovers everywhere….
Midwest Book Review

Valerie Lawson’s crisp lines startle us with their concision—so effective in, among others, her inimitable nature poems. In Dog Watch we meet a fully arrived poet of passionate intelligence, able to speak forthrightly.
— X. J. Kennedy

(S)o many poems… stand out with special clarity, for the unexpected views of reality they offer, for their daring use of language, and for the intelligent, sentient human voice behind all of them.
— Rhina Espaillat

I was startled by how much meaning Lawson managed to convey through physical description….
— G. Murray Thomas, Poetix, Poetry for Southern California

Lawson pens poetry with rich imagery and emotional resonance.
—Doug Holder, Ibbetson Street Press

Ribbon Anvil displays great beauty and uncommon twinges of longing, crisp images, and unsoftened edges, signatures of poetic roundness and hard work- really amazing!
—Nicki Miller, American University, Washington, DC

The sumptuous images in Lawson’s poetry flow effortlessly, we can almost drink them. Her book (Ribbon Anvil) is well worth reading, again and again.
—Ernie Wight, Ibbetson Street Press

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