Bloom was born in Clarendon, Jamaica and came to
England in 1979. She attended the University of
Kent at Canterbury from 1982-84 where she gained
a First Class Honours degree in English with African
and Caribbean Studies and in 1995 was awarded an
Honorary Masters Degree by the same university for
her work as a poet.
She has run writing courses for the Arvon Foundation
at Lumb Bank, Totleigh Barton, and at Ty Newydd,
the equivalent centre in Wales. She has regularly
led in-service courses for teachers and librarians,
and conducted countless writing and performance
workshops in schools and colleges. She has had residencies
in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales,
and has performed widely in Britain and the Caribbean
including the Edinburgh, WOMAD and Hay on Wye Festivals.
She has been on many TV programs for the BBC, Granada,
Thames and Sky and on many radio programs including
Women's Hour, Kaleidoscope, Stanza on Stage and
Valerie now lives in Kent with her husband and three
children, and spends her time writing, performing,
conducting writing courses and visiting schools.
She writes poetry both in English and Jamaican patois,
for readers of all ages. Many of her performances
include a 'crash course' in patois for audience
members unfamiliar with the language.