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Ellen S. Jaffe

Photo: Jason Ransom 1998

Ellen grew up in New York City. After university, she lived in England for several years, where she studied child psychotherapy and travelled in the UK and Europe. She came to Canada in 1979, and now lives in Toronto, Ontario, after many years in Hamilton, Ontario. In New York, she worked with a children's writing group led by the late poet June Jordan, and she has continued teaching writing in schools and community centres in Canada, sometimes working with the Ontario Arts Council's "Artist in Education" program and with "Learning Through the Arts" and "Living Through the Arts"(based at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Two of these programs were at the Six Natons Reserve near Brantford, Ontario and the Moose Factory Reserve near Moosonee, Ontario, and Ellen feels honoured to work and learn in these settings.  In addition to publishing poetry and fiction, she has adapted Margaret Laurence's novel for young people, Jason's Quest, into a play. She is active in "Poets for Peace," and co-organized with Lil Blume three "Celebration of Canadian Jewish Writers and Writing" in 2002, 2009, and 2012, which took place at Temple Anshe Sholom in Hamilton. She also participated in the Toronto and Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festivals, 2003. From 1990-2018, Ellen has received several grants for both writing and for arts-in-education from the Ontario Arts Council.

Phone number:
905-577-1899

Publications

Water Children. Hamilton, ON: Mini Mocho Press, 2002.
Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal Journal. Toronto: Sumach Press, 2001.
Intricate Countries: women poets from earth to sky. Ed. Gertrude Lebans; co-editors Leslie Chin Douglass and Ellen Jaffe. Dundas, ON: artemis enterprises, 1996.
Apparitions: visions from the millennium. Co-editors and authors: Lesley Chin Douglass, Ellen Jaffe, and Gertrude Lebans. Dundas, ON: artemis enterprises, 1997.
Birthsongs. Woodstock, ON: Nethercott Press, 1992.
Skinny-Dipping With the Muse. Guernica Editions, 2014
Feast of Lights: a young adult novel. Sumach Press (now on Amazon Kindle), 2006
The Day I Saw Willie Mays, and Other Poems. Pinking Shears Publications, 2019
Letters & Pictures from the Old Suitcase. Pinking Shears Publications, 2012
Syntymalaulujah/Birthsongs. Therapeia Foundation, Helsinki, Finland, 2005

Awards

Hamilton Literary Award for for "Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal Journal", 2002.
Tidepool Poetry Prize, 2000.
First Prize, Cambridge Writers Collective (Poetry), 2002.
Second Prize, Cambridge Writers Collective (Short Story), 2002.
Playwrights Recommenders' Grant from the Ontario Arts Council, 1990.
Hamilton Literary Award for for "Water Children", 2003
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Length:
varies
Genre:
Poetry, Fiction
Grades:
2-8 & high school
Audience size:
varies
Northern OAC WITS:
No
One session:
$200
Two sessions:
$200
Three sessions:
$300
Four sessions:
$300
One session:
$100
Two sessions:
$100
Three sessions:
$150
Four sessions:
$150
GST:
GST not applicable