Photo of Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass


Ellen Bass is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and winner of a 2021 Guggenhiem Foundation Fellowship in Poetry. Her books include Indigo, named a New and Notable book by the New York Times and Like a Beggar, The Human Line, and Mules of Love. In 1973 Ellen co-edited the first major anthology of women's poetry, No More Masks! and her non-fiction books include the groundbreaking guidebook, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bi-Sexual Youth.

Among her awards are Fellowships from the NEA and the California Arts Council, three Pushcart Prizes, Nimrod's Pablo Neruda Prize, The Missouri Review's Larry Levis Prize, New Letters Poetry Prize, Greensboro Poetry Prize, and The Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award. Her work appears regularly in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review and many other journals.

Ellen founded poetry workshops at Salinas Valley State Prison and in the Santa Cruz jails. She lives with her wife in Santa Cruz, CA. Visit her website.

Thoughts on Workshop: The workshop is an opportunity to share your poems and to hear how others respond to them. But equally—if not more important—it’s an opportunity to learn from the feedback given to other students. It can be hard to escape the subjectivity we feel about our own poems, but as you develop your ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of poems that are not yours, then you can apply that discernment to your own poems. 

Photo by Irene Young

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Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass, who teaches in Pacific University's low-residency MFA in Writing program, was awarded a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry.

Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass publishes poem online in The New Yorker magazine online.

Ellen Bass’ forthcoming book, Indigo, has just been released from Copper Canyon Press.

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