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Anne Valente, Age 14

Anne Valente is author of the novel Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down, which will be published this October by William Morrow/HarperCollins, and the collection By Light We Knew Our Names, which won the Dzanc Books Short Story Prize in 2014. She wrote this poem in the ninth grade.

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— Anne Valente, Age 14

Anne Valente

“At fourteen, I was a high school freshman in St. Louis and pretty quiet in my classes. I really loved English though, and I especially loved my English teacher. I don’t remember writing much creative work at all throughout high school or even into college, but I wrote this poem about my cat Snowball. Even though I didn’t write much else for almost a decade, it made a profound difference to me that my teacher told me I had an ear for the sound of words.”