Poet, translator, teacher, playwright, librettist, and collaborative artist Valerie Martínez was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She earned a BA from Vassar College and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Her books of poetry include Absence, Luminescent (1999), World to World (2004), And They Called It Horizon (2010), the limited-edition chapbook This is How it Began (2010), and the book-length poem, Each and Her (Camino del Sol) (2010), which won the Arizona Book Award and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Open Book Award, the William Carlos William Award, and the Ron Ridenhour Prize. Her work has been published in journals, magazines, anthologies, and media outlets including The Best American Poetry, the Washington Post, and the Poetry Foundation’s “Poetry Everywhere” series. Martínez also translated the work of the Uruguayan poet Delmira Agustini (1886–1914), published as the collection A Flock of Scarlet Doves (2005).

With more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, primarily at the college level, Martínez has also worked with children, young adults, adults, teachers, and seniors in a wide range of community outreach and educational programs. She is Executive Director of Littleglobe, Inc., a non-profit collaboration of artists working in communities. She was the poet laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico from 2008-2010.