A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in piano and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, Lesley Valdes coaches writers in creative nonfiction, memoir, and poetry. Until its demise, she led a variety of popular workshops for the Muse House Center for Literary Arts in Chestnut Hill. A former classical music critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer and chief music critic for the San Jose Mercury News, she is also past critic-at-large for WRTI, 90.1 FM, Temple Public Radio. Her poems have been published in print and online, including Women’s Voices for Change, the Curator, Shadowgraph, Pantheon Magazine, American Poetry Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Philadelphia Poets, and the Schuylkill Valley Review. Freelance articles on music, dance, and the visual arts have appeared in The New York Times, the Wall St. Journal, Harvard University’s Neiman Review and the Pennsylvania Gazette. She has recently completed her first full-length collection of poems, The Starlight Room. From her studio in South Philadelphia, she coaches writers and teaches piano on the Zoom platform.