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National journalist Judith Valente
National journalist Judith Valente

National journalist Judith Valente to present “Contemplation in the Age of Twitter” at Caldwell University

Poetry reading to feature anthology “St. Peter’s B-list: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints”

Caldwell, N.J., Sept. 12, 2014 – Caldwell University continues its 75th anniversary celebrations Oct. 8 with a presentation by award- winning PBS-TV journalist Judith Valente on  “Contemplation in the Age of Twitter” and a  reading with Valente and other poets from the anthology “St. Peter’s B-list: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints.”

Valente, who is a correspondent for PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and the senior correspondent at the National Public Radio affiliate in central Illinois,will provide insight on how students, busy professionals, parents, harried volunteers and others can incorporate the monastic practices of silence, listening, hospitality, simplicity, prayer and praise into their daily lives.  The event takes place at 6 p.m. in the Alumni Theatre on Caldwell’s campus.

She has authored the book “Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith,” about her experiences as a regular visit to a Benedictine women’s monastery in Kansas. Atchison Blue received the Catholic Press Association’s Best Spirituality Book in Paperback Award and was selected by the Religion Newswriters Association as one of the three top spirituality books of the year.  Valente has also published two widely acclaimed poetry collections and co-written the book “The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed.” Her television work has also appeared in PBS-TV’s The News Hour. She has also been a commentator for National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio.  She began her journalism career at The Washington Post and later became a reporter for The Wall Street Journal’s Chicago and London bureaus.She was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in journalism.

Valente attended the Academy of St. Aloysius in Jersey City.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and classical languages from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City and a master’s in fine arts in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

St. Peter’s B-list Poetry Reading at Noon

Caldwell English Professor Mary Ann Miller Ph.D., Valente and several published poets whose works are featured in Miller’s anthology “St. Peter’s B-list”, will give a poetry reading at noon in Jennings Library. The anthology, published by Ave Maria Press, features a collection of more than 100 poems from a variety of well-known poets and portrays the relevance of saints to modern life.  The foreword is by the award-winning novelist Ron Hansen. The afterword is by James Martin, S.J., author of “My Life with the Saints,” who calls Dr. Miller’s book “a treasure.”

Other poets who will read their works at the event will be Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, associate director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University; Susanna Rich, distinguished professor at Kean University and Emmy nominee; Laurie Byro, poet laureate of Allendale, NJ; Sandra Duguid, former assistant director of Caldwell’s Academic Support Center,  and Susan L. Miller, a Rutgers teaching fellow at Writers House in the English Department at Rutgers University.

Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, email or call 973-618-3371.