Lydia K. Valentine is a playwright and poet, director and dramaturg, editor, and educator. Her proudest accomplishment, though, is being a mom to two creative, intelligent, and caring individuals and activists. In her own writing and the projects to which she contributes through Lyderary Ink, Lydia seeks to amplify the voices of those who are often stifled, ignored, and marginalized in what has been the accepted narrative of the United States.
Lydia’s first poetry collection, Brief Black Candles, was published in November 2020 by Not a Pipe Publishing. Poems from the collection were recently showcased in the Eugene Contemporary Art exhibit, A Critical Conversation: Art, Race, Privilege, and Place (on view January 14 – March 21, 2021). Her writing has also appeared in online and print publications such as Speak, The Pitkin Review, and Shout! An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction. She has been the recipient of various awards and recognitions with the most recent being named the 2021-2021 City of Tacoma Poet Laureate. She was the 2017 poetry fellow serving Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas in San Pedro Sula, Honduras; recipient of the 2017 Goddard College Engaged Artist Award; and recipient of the 2021 Unsettling Dramaturgy Award.
Lydia is the resident dramaturg for empathos company and Toy Boat Theatre, and she maintains ongoing partnerships with The Mahogany Project, Pork Filled Productions, and We Out Here. She adapted and co-directed Ibsen’s A Doll’s House for Tacoma Little Theatre’s 100th Season and will be directing The Luck of the Irish by Kirsten Greenidge in 2022. She has been invited by various organizations (including the African-American Writers’ Alliance, Blue Cactus Press, Central Washington University, Creative Colloquy, the Hiatt Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership, Lighthouse Writers’ Conference & Retreat, and Write253) to speak and run workshops on topics such as equity and classroom management, social justice in the classroom, intersectionality and identity, poetry, and playwriting.
Lydia is a faculty member of Northwest Indian College and Seattle Girls’ School. She is also a highly sought after sensitivity/authenticity reader, developmental editor, and copyeditor and has worked on publications such as the social justice and literary arts magazine Speak, books such as Rough House by Tina Ontiversos, and various projects for companies such as Agate Publishing, Forest Avenue Press, McGraw Hill, and Pearson.