Biography

picture of Ellen in from of Fans

Fans by Holly Briesmaster, at a group exhibit by “Sixis” at the Papermill Gallery, Todmorden Mills, Toronto, in March 2012.

Ellen S. Jaffe was born in New York City, came to Canada in 1979, and became a Canadian citizen in 1993.

She is currently living, writing, and teaching in Hamilton, Ontario.

Her works include a young-adult novel, Feast of Lights (Sumach Press, 2006), a poetry  collection, Water Children (Mini Mocho Press, 2002), and Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal Journal (Sumach Press, 2001). Two of her books and one individual poem have received awards from Arts Hamilton (formerly the Hamilton & Region Arts Council). She has adapted Margaret Laurence’s novel, Jason’s Quest, into a play for young people, produced in 2001. She has also written another play “Promise You Won’t Marry Me”, produced in 2008 by the Black Box Fire’s Emerging Artist series.

Her writing has been published in journals including Fireweed, Capilano Review, Kaleidoscope, CV 2, and Kairos, and in various anthologies; she was on the 2005 short-list for Lichen magazine’s “Tracking a Serial Poet” contest (the only person to have two entries short-listed!), and she was also on the short-list for the CBC Literary Competition in 1996. Recently two poems were published in Crossing Lines by Seraphim Press (2008), an anthology by poets who came to Canada during the Vietnam War era. She received the Orion prize for poetry in 2000, and has read at the Niagara International Festival of Chamber Music, as well as venues in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia.

Ellen is a member of The Writers Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, and CANSCAIP. She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council for both writing and teaching. She currently works with Learning Through the Arts and Living through the Arts, programmes run by the Royal Conservatory of Music that enable artists to work jn schools and community organizations. She has also taught in many other school and community programs, and has been a judge for various writing contests for both young people and adults.

Ellen has one son, Joe, born in 1980. She enjoys cooking, gardening, canoeing, theatre and film, and travel to new places – both local, world-wide and imaginary.

 

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