Bio

Elisabeth Blair is a poet, editor, and workshop leader with an extensive background in music and the visual arts. Her publications include full-length collection because God loves the wasp (Unsolicited Press 2022), two chapbooks—We He She/It (Dancing Girl Press 2016) and without saying (Ethel Press 2020)—and poems in a variety of journals, including Harpur PalateFeminist Studies, cream city review, and Juked. Her monthly newsletter, lullabies & alarms, explores the craft of poetry. She has been artist-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Wildacres, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and ACRE. In 2022 she received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to complete her second book, a poetry novel.

 

Publications

because God loves the wasp

August 30, 2022 (Unsolicited Press)

A poetry memoir documenting the years the author spent within two "troubled teen" industry facilities.

Elisabeth Blair writes as a survivor of a sadistic and dehumanizing facility for “troubled teens”—or perhaps the word is “camp.” It certainly reminds us of the other, more famous camps, gulags, and re-education centers we’re aware of. Because Blair is also a brilliant poet, she can take us into the perceptions of the shattered person or, in this case, child. The child understands only the contours of coercion: “the storm wants specific things.”  In fact, she no longer identifies as human, and, at times, that seems like a good thing: “You tell them you’re a slice of grass where a shadow falls—/your greens seem burnt/but they’re not.//They don’t believe you.” Blair’s language is barbed, destabilizing, and very much alive. This is an important book. 

- Rae Armantrout

We He She/It

2016

Chapbook – Dancing Girl Press

Consulting & Editing

"Elisabeth has been incredible. She has pushed me to improve my manuscript to a degree I hadn't thought possible. She has not only helped me to clarify and tidy, but also to deepen and intensify. If you choose Elisabeth, you will have to work hard. And you will be wowed by the results." 

- Sarah-Jean Krahn, author of A Girl Who Was His House (Gothic Funk Press, 2020)

 

 

"Working with Elisabeth has been the most purposeful and rewarding experience I have had with an editor."   

- Elaine Pentaleri, co-editor of Mud Season Review

 

"Elisabeth sees the potential in a poem and is willing to play with possibilities. Her suggestions are empathic to the poem's intent, incisive, and delivered with genuine regard. She has cleared the dross from many of my muddled poems, encouraging both clarity and complexity where needed. I recommend her unreservedly."  

- Malisa Garlieb, author of Handing out Apples in Eden (Wind Ridge Books, 2014)

Manuscript Consultation

If you have completed a draft of your manuscript, I can offer detailed feedback and suggestions for helping your book reach its highest potential. First we'll meet, and I'll ask you questions about your intentions for the work — the audience, the mood, the message, the content, the style. I believe that grappling with these questions is a central part of the revision process, and that my role is to be a gentle interrogator. Based on your answers, I'll go through your manuscript on my own time and provide specific, tailored suggestions for how to meet your goals and intentions, on both the macro- and micro-scales: the overall form and flow of the work, and the roles of each individual word. 

For my initial reading of a manuscript and taking brief notes on it, I charge a fixed fee of $25/hr. After this, I will work with you to arrive at a one-time fee for the entire project that suits your budget, your goals, and the needs of the manuscript.  

Consulting & Mentoring  

If you have a project, poem, or writing practice which you're in the process of developing, I'd love to help you. We can have regular live 1-1 workshopping or mentoring sessions with me via video chat or telephone, or we can have an asynchronous email correspondence conversation about your work. 

For consulting and mentoring, I charge a sliding scale fee of $75–$25/hr.

I also always hold a few free spots for those who do not have any extra resources. Please do reach out; if those spots are full I can put you on a wait list. 

Contact Me

For any of my services, please contact me at ecblair@gmail.com
I accept Venmo, Paypal, or payment by check. 

Events

Previous events

Date Event Location
 — (EST, UTC-05)  — (EST, UTC-05) The Volta, or Turn (Poetry Craft & Form Series with BWW) Online Online
 — (EST, UTC-05)  — (EST, UTC-05) The Power of the Persona Poem (Poetry Craft & Form Series with BWW) Online Online
 — (EST, UTC-05)  — (EST, UTC-05) The Reader as Conversation Partner International Women's Writing Guild - online International Women's Writing Guild - online
 — (EDT, UTC-04)  — (EDT, UTC-04) Rhetorical Figures of Speech (Poetry Craft & Form Series with BWW) Online Online
 — (EDT, UTC-04)  — (EDT, UTC-04) Poetry About a Difficult Past: One Approach Online Online
 —  — Lit Night at the Lampshop, Green Mountain Book Festival The Lampshop, Burlington, VT The Lampshop, Burlington, VT
 —  — Book Launch - because God loves the wasp Radio Bean, Burlington, VT Radio Bean, Burlington, VT
(EDT, UTC-04) (EDT, UTC-04) Panel on Self-Care for Creative Writers: IWWG Poetry Palooza Kickoff Event Zoom Zoom
 — (EDT, UTC-04)  — (EDT, UTC-04) Erasure Poetry (Poetry Craft & Form Series with BWW) Online Online
(EDT, UTC-04) (EDT, UTC-04) Sonic Devices (Poetry Craft & Form Series with BWW) Online Online
 —  — Bridging the Strange & the Familiar: Practical Approaches for Poets Online Online
 —  — Relish in the Wreck: The Joy of Revising Poetry Online Online

Newsletter

lullabies & alarms is Elisabeth's  monthly newsletter on the craft & power of poetry. It also includes exercises, recommended readings, and writing prompts. The free version and the paid version are the same; the paid version supports her writing and teaching [thank you!!!]. Topics include craft, form, aesthetics, voice, privilege, intentions, harm, poetic devices, accessibility, opacity, history, art, music, language, visual art, improvisation, mediumship, revision techniques, mixing forms, and the subconscious, to name a few. 

Music

Beginning in 2004, Elisabeth studied voice privately, then spent many years on the singer/songwriter circuit in Chicago, self-producing 5 solo albums, including a showcase album, Country of Origin (see below). She also worked closely with theatre groups, writers, and a magician to create commissioned stage and theme music. After experiencing the thrills of improvisation as lead vocalist for both Robert Metrick's The Power of Then and Carole McCurdy's ALAS, she moved into both free improvisation and formal composition. She earned a Specialist Certificate in Music Composition for Film and TV from Berklee in 2015, and from 2015-17 studied music composition part-time in the graduate program at Western Michigan University.

In 2017 she initiated the Improv Poetry Orchestra, a pop-up performance experience that anyone can organize, which pairs improvisers of music and poetry together in a live setting.  She was fortunate to be a participant composer at the Toronto Creative Music Lab, a composer-in-residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and Wildacres, and worked with improviser/composer Karl Berger at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her works have been performed internationally, including New York, Melbourne, Canberra, Berlin, Montreal, and Zacatecas.

Country of Origin

Elisabeth Blair

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My first solo album, 2010. Featuring Michael Tracht on cello (Virgin, Halifax Explosion, Duck Duck Goose) and appearances by Ryan Gunzel (formerly of House & Bird) on bass, dulcimer and banjo (To Be Alone, Secret).

Read more…

Magical Island

Christopher Howell and Elisabeth Blair

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Based on the live magic show for children, devised and performed by London-based magician, Christopher Howell.
Lyrics, music, and production by Elisabeth Blair.
Cover art by mulberryfrancis.co

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Chamber & electroacoustic music: Contact me to obtain scores/parts.

Improv Poetry Orchestra

Elisabeth initiated this practice at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in February 2017. It involves writing poetry live, projected on a screen, while musicians improvise. The writer (who can be Elisabeth, another poet, or a member of the public) and the musicians work with each others' material in real time, creating symbiotic narratives and sound worlds that would never normally come into being on their own. She has created an Improv Poetry Orchestra at ACA in Florida, at the ACRE space in Chicago, and was featured at the Oh My Ears New Music Festival in January 2018. See examples of performances.

Podcast

Listening to Ladies is a podcast created, hosted, and produced by Elisabeth Blair, which aired between September 26th, 2016 and September 27th, 2019. The 30 episodes feature excerpts from interviews with composers who identify as women, interwoven with samples of their work. Interviewees include established, emerging and under-recognized composers from the USA, Canada, Argentina, Israel, Iran, Scotland, England, and Australia. Each interview covers two main themes: the composer's experience of being a woman in this field, and the composer's music & aesthetics. The podcast was funded by Patreon subscribers, the Irving S Gilmore Foundation in partnership with 102.1 WMUK, and the International Alliance for Women in Music.

Contact

join my mailing list for news:

occasional (1-3 times per year) updates on my projects. (If you'd like to receive my monthly poetry craft newsletter 'lullabies & alarms,' that sign-up is above)