Alissa Valles was born to an American father and Dutch mother in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and studied languages, literature and history at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies in London and at universities in the U.S., Poland and Russia; she worked for the BBC World Service, the Dutch Institute of War Documentation, the Jewish Historical Institute and La Strada International in Warsaw, and is now an independent writer, editor and translator based in the Bay Area. Her poetry collection Orphan Fire (Four Way Books) appeared in 2008. Her poetry appeared in The Antioch Review, Common Knowledge, Magma, The North, Ploughshares, Poetry, Verse, The Women’s Review of Books, the anthology Strange Attractors, and elsewhere; she has been a recipient of a Ruth Lilly Poetry fellowship and the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine.
She is editor and co-translator of Zbigniew Herbert’s Collected Poems 1956-1998 (Ecco) a New York Times Notable Book in 2007, Herbert’s Collected Prose 1948-1998 (Ecco 2010), and has contributed translations to Harper’s, Jewish Quarterly, Modern Poetry in Translation, The New Yorker, New York Review of Books, TriQuarterly Review, New England Review and the anthology Polish Writers on Writing. She acted as poetry editor for the web journal for international literature Words without Borders, and was an editor on the anthology New European Poets (Graywolf 2008). She is on the editorial board of the Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics and regularly contributes to the Boston Review.
Four Way Books
Human Rights Watch
Southern Poverty Law Center
Voice of Witness
Global Fund for Women
Bat Conservation International
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