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Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland

Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland

Photo: Faith Chaput

I am a writer, theatre artist, and arts educator whose work over the past 40 years has evolved at the intersection of arts and activism. Currently I am offering a series of intergenerational virtual workshops that use writing and eco-poetry as a way in to what eco-Buddhist philosopher and writer, Joanna Macy refers to as Active Hope. Based on "Daring to Hope at the Cliff's Edge: Pangea's Dream Remembered", over the last year, these programs have been offered through Ships Company Theater (Parrsboro, N.S.); The Rose Theater (Brampton, ON); Peace One Day Guelph; and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Visit this link to get a taste of the work, a virtual reading and interview hosted by the amazing Ian Keteku:

"Daring to Hope at the Cliff's Edge: Pangea's Dream Remembered" (Chapel Street Editions, 2019) evolved from my one year residency at the Joggins Fossil Institute, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the mighty Bay of Fundy.

“Lyrical, bewildering, heartening, and unsettling, this work sees an individual voice reckoning with the overwhelming complexity of our present moment.”

~ Nick Storring, Musician and music journalist

“Elizabeth is a passionate, compelling presence, and the urgency and clarity of her writing is given even greater power in a live setting.”

~ Sean O’Neill, Executive producer and host, CBC In the Making

"...timeless and timely, ancestral and modern, serious and whimsical. Be prepared for a journey of the moral imagination, an invitation into a council of all beings, and a unique experience that will leave you inspired, moved, and daring to hope."

~Della Duncan, Ecological Economist Work that Reconnects Facilitator

"Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the Bay of Fundy is the important geological focus for this engaging poetic meditation on our endangered earth. In Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland’s lyrical treatment myth, Indigenous lore, geological science, song, storytelling, current events, and even pop culture intermingle in an impassioned search for understanding and for hope"

~Glen Sorestad, First Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan

"As a cultural geographer specializing in the field of Education for Sustainable Development, I have witnessed the pivotal role the arts play in providing a holistic framework through which we can process our collective fears of the future. In this powerful narrative poem, Elizabeth takes us to the cliff ’s edge of these fears, and using pathos, humour and her unique wit, provides us with a personal model for resilient action."

~Dr. Michael Fox Professor of Geography & Environment Mount Allison University

My novella, JAZZ, a coming-of-age story of a young transgendered East Indian male, won the 2014 Ken Klonksy Novella Prize and was shortlisted for the 2015 ReLit Award.

My short stories, poems and personal essays have been published in Resilience Magazine, Deep Times Journal, Forge Journal, The Furious Gazelle, Circa - A Journal of Historical Fiction and What Rough Beast, to name a few. An excerpt from my novel, "Traeh Gnul - Miranda's Journey from the Great Forest" won the 2014 Writers Federation of New Brunswick Young Adult Fiction Award. In 2017, with the support of Mount Allison University, I wrote, directed and produced the spoken-word play, "Bearing Witness".

One of my great joys comes from facilitating creative process and tying it in to social justice/environmental issues. In 2016, I presented creative writing workshops at the Knowlton Literary Festival (Knowlton, QC) and at the San Miguel Writers Conference (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico). In 2017, I facilitated the Earth Warriors Theatre Project, working collaboratively with a group of middle school students to write and mount a play called "Don't sit this one out" (title based on a quote by Carl Sagan). I am a certified Work that Reconnects facilitator. I currently live in a little house near the mighty Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia with my composer husband, Beverly Glenn-Copeland. In my spare time, I love to garden, read, walk in the woods and drink earl grey tea, not necessarily in that order.  

Nova Scotia


JAZZ. Quattro Books, 2014
DARING TO HOPE AT THE CLIFF'S EDGE: PANGEA'S DREAM REMEMBERED. Chapel Street Editions in association with Joggins Fossil Institute, 2019 (August)
DESCANSOS. Resilience Magazine, 2020


Ken Klonsky Novella Prize for JAZZ: Nature's Improvisation / Quattro Books, 2014
ReLit Award / Shortlist for JAZZ: Nature's Improvisation / Quattro Books, 2015
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

Whether we are focusing on writing poetry, fiction, plays, speech writing or personal essays, the program is designed in concert with the lead teacher to make sure we meet school/community needs. My goal is always to encourage young writers and kick-start the creative process. Themes discussed include accessing the creative brain, writing from the senses, editing basics with the majority of the learning happening through in-class writing.

I have worked as an artist facilitator for over 30 years with such organizations as Learning through the Arts, the Storytellers School of Toronto and the New Brunswick Writers in the Schools Program. I have extensive experience working with students with learning disabilities. I also offer Professional Development workshops for teachers.

"Elizabeth facilitated a very hands on style workshop...Students got to write and explore ideas and then receive feedback from peers and Elizabeth after sharing their writing piece. This was a great enrichment opportunity for our students...Truly a great experience for our students!"
JoAnn Boone / Anglophone West School District

Presentation Length:
Varies according to program goals
Fiction / Poetry / Playwriting / Personal Essays / Speech Writing
4 - 12
Audience Size:
Minimum 6 / Maximum 20 per class
Workshop Description:

Sample Workshop

Round robin introductions

Group discussion - Who likes stories? Who thinks they are a good writer? Why?

Free write exercise: What do you enjoy about writing? What do you find frustrating?

Group debrief

The Creative Mind vs. the Editorial Mind - writing exercise

Writing from the Senses - 2 free fall writing exercises

Rhythm and Rhyme - wrtiting exercise

Group sharing with feedback

Group discussion

Analysis - here I read a selection of poetry or prose and ask the students to listen for some of the elements we have discussed

Free write time

Group feedback/discussion

Action plan - How do we create a personal writing practice?


Equity Initiative

As part of the Union’s Equity Implementation Plan, we are committed to increasing awareness of authors who are Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQI2S, or living with a disability. This author identifies as:

  • Living with a disability