March is National Women's Month and Pat Valdata helps us to honor women who are extraordinary, and who broke through glass ceilings to reach high into the sky. -Grace Cavalieri
Pat Valdata is an award-winning poet and fiction writer with an MFA in writing from Goddard College. In 2015 she received a Raveel Grant toward a two-week residency at the Dickinson House in Olsene, Belgium, which she attended in September 2015. Valdata has twice received Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. In 2013 she was awarded a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation for a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Thanks to this grant and residency, she completed the manuscript for a book of poetry that was awarded the 2015 Donald Justice Prize. Her award-winning manuscript, Where No Man Can Touch, was published in June 2015.
Her other book publications are the poetry book Inherent Vice, published by Pecan Grove Press in 2011, the same publisher that printed her poetry chapbook Looking for Bivalve, which was a contest finalist in 2002; the novel Crosswind, published in 1997 by Wind Canyon Books; and the novel The Other Sister, published by Plainview Press in 2008, which won a gold medal from the Hungarian Association’s Árpád Academy. Valdata’s work has appeared in literary magazines including Little Patuxent Review and Passager, and the anthology Challenges for the Delusional (Jane Street Press 2012).
A native of New Jersey, Valdata lives in Elkton, Maryland. She is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), where she teaches writing and literature in online and hybrid formats. She is a sailplane pilot and founding member of the Women Soaring Pilots Association.
Selected poems from Where No Man Can Touch, published in 2015 by the West Chester University Poetry Center and winner of the 2015 Donald Justice Poetry Prize
The Donald Justice Prize is sponsored by the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards at West Chester University. The Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards were created in 2005 through the generosity of Kean Spencer, a successful businessman and benefactor of the arts. The awards honor his mother, Iris N. Spencer, and recognize the important role of the arts and letters in American life. Under the auspices of the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards, the Donald Justice Prize was created as a national poetry award in memory of acclaimed poet Donald Justice.
La Prima Donna
Thérèse Peltier (1873–1826), first woman to solo an airplane,
The Human Arrow
Hélène Dutrieu (1877–1961), first woman to carry a passenger, 1910;
first woman to win an air race, 1911;
first woman to pilot a seaplane, 1912
Bessie Coleman (1892–1926), first African American woman pilot,
15 June 1921
Originally published in Rhymes for Adults, ed. Mary Alexandra Agner, Virginia Reals Press, 2006.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001), first woman in United States to receive a
first-class glider license,
29 January 1930
Refrain quoted from “Even,” in The Unicorn and Other Poems, Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
Ann Baumgartner Carl (1918–2008), first American woman to test fly a jet aircraft,
14 October 1944
© Pat Valdata, 2016, all rights reserved
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