Ariel N. Valerio graduated from the University of the Philippines in Diliman with a degree in Philippine Studies (Theater and Literature).
In his student days, he was managing editor of the Philippine Collegian, editor of the Collegian Literary Folio, and editor of the The Literary Apprentice while serving as president of the UP Writers Club.
He was named Poet of the Year by the Linangan ng mga Wika sa Pilipinas (for the poem "Babaylan") in 1990 and by the Komisyon ng mga Wika sa Pilipinas in 2000 (for the poem "Wala Man sa Listahan ang Ating Pangalan").
His first collection of poems, ".45" was published by World Class Publishing House in 1994.
He has also reaped awards from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the Cultural Center of the Philippines Literary Contest.
His play "Ako" was part of a collection of plays "Babae, Lalaki, at iba pa" which won the CCP Grant for Playwriting in 1992 and was mounted at the UP Theater by Arts Collective in 1999.
One of his translated works, "Ang Kanyang Anak, Jose Rizal," was mounted by the Dulaang UP in 1998.
His adaptation of "Kangkong 1896" served as working script for the film "Damong Ligaw."