Valerie Bloom is a poet well known for her performances and literature for children. Born in Clarendon, Jamaica, Bloom trained and worked as a teacher before coming to Britain in 1979 to study English, African and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kent. She had always written poetry from a young age, and in 1983 Bloom published her first poetry collection, Touch mi! Tell me! with Bogle L'Ouverture, the radical London-based publishing house set up by Guyanese activists Jessica and Eric Huntley. This collection was followed by many more - Duppy Jamboree and Other Jamaican Poems (1991), The World is Sweet (2000), Let Me Touch The Sky (2000), Hot Like Fire (2002), and Whoop an’ Shout! (2003). Bloom cites Louise Bennet and Mikey Smith, two of Jamaica’s greatest poets, as her influences. Often praised for the orality of her poetry, Bloom’s poems can be characterised by her use of Jamaican Creole, Caribbean folk traditions, and musicality.