Poetry and Silence: Judith Valente
After many years as a successful journalist and poet, Judith Valente arrived to lead a workshop at a monastery. The experience changed her life. In our interview, we discuss Valente's career as a reporter on the religion beat, and how her explorations of the contemplative life have affected her daily living.
Judith Valente is an awarding-winning print and broadcast journalist, poet and essayist. Her most recent book is Atchison Blue: a Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith.
She began her work in journalism at the age of 21 as a staff reporter for The Washington Post. She later joined the staff of The Wall Street Journal, reporting from that paper's Chicago and London bureaus. She was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, first in the public service category as part of a team of reporters at The Dallas Times Herald investigating airline safety in the 1980's. In 1993, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer in the feature writing category for her front page article in The Wall Street Journal chronicling the story of a religiously conservative father caring for his son dying of AIDS.
For the past eight years, Ms. Valente has been a regular contributor to the national PBS-TV news program "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly." She has won eight broadcast awards for her work on the show. Her work has also appeared on PBS-TV's "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer." She is also a commentator for National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio where she covers religion, interviews poets and authors, and is a guest essayist.
She is the author of Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith. Her earlier books include The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed, written with Brother Paul Quenon and Michael Bever.