Photo of Valerie BenceAfter a career as a researcher, case-study writer and librarian, Valerie finished a doctorate in her mid-fifties and then moved from academic writing to creative writing, completing an MA in Poetry at Manchester Met University's Writing School in 2016. She works mainly with objects and artworks but writes ekphrastic poems in its broadest sense, encompassing truth, memory, place and time. Time is an especially powerful focus and she finds that writing on significant anniversaries or in real time brings another dimension to the writing process.

Rembrandt first arrived as a topic for her final year's work at Manchester and soon became the focus for the last two years' work towards a first collection. Her poems have been published in Now then!, Bare Fiction, Manchester Buildings A-Z, Poetry School Anthology, Cambridge Notes: Special Edition on Ekphrasis and she has worked on poetry projects with the British Museum, Chelsea Fringe, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. With three adult children and a baby granddaughter, Valerie lives and works in Buckinghamshire.