Lesley Valdes

Journalist, poet, radio commentator

Lesley has recently opened the Alder Street Studio in South Philadelphia to mentor students and professionals with their writing practice. All levels and genres are welcome: criticism, creative non-fiction, short-story, poetry, memoir.

For more information please email: valdeswrites@gmail.com.

Lesley’s journalism has appeared in The New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Vogue,  Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio’s Performance Today. She has been a staff reporter for The  Miami News, Women’s Wear Daily & W, for 13 years classical music critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer; chief music critic of The San Jose Mercury News and from 2002-2012, critic-at-large of WRTI, 90.1 fm, Temple University Public Radio, Philadelphia.

She has studied poetry with Henri Cole at the New York State Writers Institute, and Daisy Fried of 24 Pearl Street of the Provincetown Fine Arts Center;  she is a candidate for the MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College.

11 Responses to Lesley Valdes

  1. Suzanne smith says:


    We like all the same things- have to add small dogs as well now. Loved reading your Beckett review. You are so talented and perceptive. Xxoo s

  2. Valerie says:

    Hi Lesley! I’m sorry I missed you when you stopped by, sorry I subsequently misplaced your business card so that I could email you, and would love to catch up sometime … happy holidays to you!! ~ Valerie (of books, dogs, and former neighborhood fame)

  3. Andreas says:

    suddenly out of the blue
    fond memories of you

  4. Andreas says:

    I never wrote that re moderation!

  5. hello, In 1980 … Quite a long time ago, you wrote an article in the Miami News about a “doctor, rabbi, psychologist, Mordechai Nuri conducting a Seder evening in his home. i just wanted to let you know that this fellow was my ex husband and was necer neither a rabbi, neither a psychologist neither a doctor but just fakes ones. In 1974 we were living in Monreal, I divorced him, and he ran away with our 3 children who were at that time 5, 3 and 1. I succeeded locating my children only in 1982 ! The real name is Farajollah banayan and then if at that time kidnapping children was not considered as a criminal act, stealing money was and in the early nineries he had a criminal warrant arrest issued in Sacramento (kickback business) … Anyway I am just writing you this, to let you realise that people are not always what they repesent themselves to be ! (sorry my English is so so since I am french). But beleive me , these years not knowing where my kids were was a 24h/24h nightmare to me . The fellow now is in a business selling some “magic pills” in Panama with wife N°3 and 17 kids ! …

    • valdeswrites says:

      Hello, I am horribly abashed at this. I was a young reporter and did my best at the time to find out all the truth but there are times when you cannot know if sources are telling the truth or dissembling. Thank you for contacting me and I am sorry that your life has had such sorrows.

      • emmy weiss says:

        Please, don’t be sorry, you did your best. Nowadays my children are adults and we are very close. They realised by themselves how they were cheated in their childhood but they are slowly but surely recovering. But for sure a journalist should do some verification: just typing his name on google give some of his curriculum vitae (as well than mine but it is on french canadian news-paper).

      • valdeswrites says:

        Hello, perhaps you don’t realize Emmy, that when we ran this story long, long ago, Google did not even exist. I do not wish to cast blame on anyone other than myself but I was so new, such a beginning journalist that I simply followed my editors’ instructions and was yes too naive and trusting. I did learn over the years to check and triple check everything sources told me but that story in particular was such an oddity for me, to be put on an holocaust story, and I think it also threw me off, I knew so little of that tragedy, horror. I am glad to know that you are doing well, and your children.

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