val in prague.jpg

Valentina Gnup has been writing poetry since age thirteen. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism from CSUF in 1980. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2002. After living in Santa Barbara, California for 20 years, she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina for 6 years, followed by 6 years in Portland, Oregon. She has two grown daughters and currently lives in Oakland, California where she teaches high school English.

Published work

Five South (The Weekly)—"Pieces of Days" in  2021

The New Guard Literary Review—"On the Corner of Powell and Cesar Chavez" in 2020

Headline Poetry and Press—"My Sorrow is My Sorrow" in 2020

December—"Pink Peonies" in 2020 

Las​caux Review—"When You Are Invisible, You Can Say Anything" in 2019

Rattle—“We Speak of August” in 2010 “Morning at the Welfare Office” in 2016 and “A Thousand Possible Clouds” in 2017 "It's a Sad Story" in 2020

Lunch Ticket Special: Celebrating 20 Years of Antioch’s MFA in Creative Writing—“We Speak of August” and “Morning at the Welfare Office” in 2017


As It Ought to Be, Blog—“We Speak of August” in 2016 

Mudfish—“Hotel Aubade” in 2014

Corners of the Mouth: A Celebration of Thirty Years at the Annual San Luis Obispo Poetry

Festival,  Kevin Patrick Sullivan, editor— “The Cries of One Crow” in 2014​

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Website—“The Cries of One Crow” in 2011

Work Zine—“At the Cherimoya Packaging Plant” in 2010  

Cutthroat Journal of the Arts, chosen by Dorianne Laux—“France Etude” in 2009

Best American Poetry, Blog, chosen by Mark Strand—“American Meditation” in 2008

Kakalak, an anthology of North and South Carolina writers—“Her Face, Crimson Petals” in 2008

NothingButRed, an anthology about violence against women, Lulu.com Press— “Her Face, Crimson Petals” in 2008

Solo Café 2— “Dark Red Leaves” in 2008


Chelsea—“Autumn Nocturne” “Wintering” “At Edward Hopper’s Self-Portrait” and “Dark Red Leaves” in 2007 

Poets Against War published online by Sam Hamill—“Baghdad Ghazal” in 2005

The Lyre, Greensboro College Literary Journal—“Drummer Elegy” and “The Last Cumulus Cloud in Texas” in 2005

Ekphrasis Journal—“Sheep Study” and “Nude with Mirror” in 2004

MARY Journal—“Lament of a Bare Branch” and “Shadows in Gold” in 2004   


Brooklyn Review—“Old Underwear” in 2004

Crab Orchard Review—“City of Fire” in 2001

Slipstream—“The Shape of Jellyfish Flying” in 2001

Crimson Crane, literary journal of Antioch University Los Angeles—“All These Winters” in 2001


Wilshire Review—“At the Cherimoya Packaging Plant” in 2000


Voce Piena—“City of Fire” in 2000

Curious Rooms, Smashing Icons—“I’m Sick of Lyn Lifshin” in 1999

Art/Life—“A Thousand Daughters” in 1997 and “Constellations” in 1999

Beyond the Valley of the Contemporary Poets, Valley Contemporary Press—“House of No Husband” and “Definitions of Grace” in 1999

Blue Collar Review, Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature—“Definitions of Grace” “The Boning Knife” and “Helping Pearl” in 1999 

Nimrod, chosen by W.S. Merwyn—“The Boning Knife” “A Thousand Daughters” “Valentina” “Constellations” “The First Time I Understand Hunger” and “Simple Gifts” in 1997


Santa Barbara Independent— “Halloween 1965” in 1993 and “Learning to Pray” in 1997

Blue Satellite—“After Breakfast” in 1995 and “Dance of Years” in 1996

Red Tiles, Blue Skies, More Tales of Santa Barbara, John Daniel and Company Publisher— “Some Evening” in 1996

Rivertalk '95—"At the Kitchen Sink" and "Crossing the Freeway"

Wind Magazine—“Definitions of Grace” in 1995

Paper Radio—“Cancer and Weather” in 1995   


Verve— “Sunday Morning” in 1993 and “Crossing the Freeway” in 1995 

Retooling for Renaissance in the 3rd Millennium, Poetry Anthology—“Camellias” and “Carpinteria Beach in October” in 1995

The Hiram Poetry Review—“Reds, Purples, Blues” in 1993  


Two Twenty-four Poetry Quarterly—“Natural Predator” and “Halloween 1965” in 1992

Sparrow Octaves, chapbook,

Birch Brook Press, 2005

A Certain Piece of Sky, chapbook,

Mille Grazie Press, 1996​


December's Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize, Finalist, 2020


Codhill Press Pauline Uchmanowicz Poetry Award, Finalist, 2019


The New Guard Literary Review Knightville Contest, Finalist, 2019


The Lascaux Prize in Poetry, 2019

The Writing Salon Jane Underwood Prize, Finalist, 2018


Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, Editor's Choice, 2017

Rattle Poetry Prize, Readers’ Choice Award, 2015

Mudfish Poetry Prize, Finalist, judge Charles Simic, 2013

Dana Awards, Finalist, 2013

Anam Cara Poetry Competition Ireland, Honorable Mention, 2012

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award, First Prize, 2011

Bellingham Review Literature Awards, Finalist, 2011

Paumanok Poetry Award, Finalist, 2011

Rattle Poetry Prize, Honorable Mention, 2010

Codhill Chapbook Award, Finalist, 2010

Joy Harjo Poetry Award, First Prize, Cutthroat Journal of the Arts, judged by Dorianne  Laux, 2009

Best American Poetry Inaugural Ode Contest, tied for 3rd place, judged by Mark Strand, 2008

New Letters National Poetry Competition, Honorable Mention, 2006

North Carolina Writers’ Network, Mary Belle Campbell Book Publication Prize, 2005

North Carolina Writers’ Network, Blumenthal Writers and Readers Series, 2003

Iowa Review, Iowa Award Finalist, 2003

North Carolina State Poetry Contest, Honorable Mention, judged by Eleanor Wilner, 2003

National Poetry Series, Finalist, 2002

Santa Barbara County Arts Fund Individual Artist Award, 2000


Ahninga Book Prize, Finalist, 2000

Nimrod/ Hardman Award, Pablo Neruda Prize, Honorable Mention, judged by W.S. Merwin, 1997

Rainer Maria Rilke International Poetry Competition, First Prize, 1996

National Writers Union Santa Cruz Chapter Contest, Finalist, judged by Mary Oliver, 1996

Wind Magazine's Allen Tate Memorial Award, First Prize, 1995

Ventura Poetry Festival Contest, First Prize, 1995

USC's Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, Honorable Mention, 1995

Southern Birmingham College's Hackney Literary Awards, Third Prize, 1993 

New Letters National Poetry Competition, Finalist, 1993