Posted by Daniela Elza on Mar 17 2018 | Comment now »

Below are two upcoming events which will highlight readings from the anthology SUSTENANCE: Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food (Edited by Rachel Rose, published by Anvil Press, 2017). I am organizing one of them, and I will read at both.

Next week, March 22nd, Twisted Poets is dedicated to readers from the Sustenance Anthology.

The featured readers will be: Rachel Rose, Merna Hecht, Murray Reiss, Danny Peart, Adrienne Drobnies, Sylvia Symons, Henry Rappaport, Judith Penner, Elen Ghulam, Monica Meneghetti, Terrie Hamazaki, Kathryn Alexander, mia amir, Adrienne Gruber, Leef Evans, Katarina Balazsova, Jan Tse, Lydia Kwa, Beverley O’Neil, Elena Johnson, daniela elza
There will be no Open Mic at this event.
Location: The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver
Hosts: Daniela Elza & Bonnie Nish
​Suggested donation at the door: $5

On Saturday March 24th from 11:30am-1pm there will be another reading at the Farmers’ Market at Nat Bailey Stadium.
The readers at this event are: Rachel Rose, Kevin Spenst, Adrienne Drobnies, Daniela Elza, mia amir, Murray Reiss, Elaine Woo, Diane Tucker, Lynn Easton, and Merna Hecht.

I hope you can come and share in an evening or morning on the subject of food and support this Sustenance project. Help us spread the word.

About the Anthology:
Sustenance: Writers from BC and Beyond on the Subject of Food brings to the table some of Canada’s best contemporary writers, celebrating all that is unique about Vancouver’s literary and culinary scene. Punctuated by beautiful local food photographs, interviews with and recipes from some of our top local chefs, each of these short pieces will shock, comfort, praise, entice, or invite reconciliation, all while illuminating our living history through the lens of food. Sustenance is also a community response to the needs of new arrivals or low-income families in our city. The contributors have donated their honoraria to the BC Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program. A portion of sales from every book will go towards providing a refugee or low-income family with fresh, locally grown produce, and at the same time will support B.C. farmers, fishers, and gardeners.

For more information or to purchase copies you can go to Anvil Press here.

I cannot draw these crows…

Posted by Daniela Elza on Feb 19 2018 | Comment now »

My friend Dorothee Lang sent this crow from Germany. She painted the crow on top of pages 34 and 35 of my collection milk tooth bane bone (Leaf Press, 2013). Dorothee is doing a whole series of book sketches you can check out here.

Daily booksketches, day 17: milk tooth bane bone is a moving collection by my poet friend Daniela Elza. One of the poems, at.tension starts with a line I couldn’t resist: “I cannot draw these crows.” When I revisited the book, and read the line, I knew I had to try.

two upcoming anthologies

Posted by Daniela Elza on Jan 26 2018 | Comment now »

I will have some previously published work in two anthologies. One in the US and one in Canada.
In the US Lummox Press is putting together an anthology of Canadian poets. Publication is planned for late October/November. The working title of this collection is Tamaracks: Canadian poetry for the 21st century. My poem autobiography of grief 1 will be included in it. It was first published in Prism international, 53.3, 2015.

And the League of Canadian Poets is putting together an anthology on trees, or a tree anthology. I am happy that my poem cypress falls is going to be one of the fifteen or so poems in the BC/Yukon chapter. cypress falls was first published in Poetic Inquiry III: Enchantment of Place (2017).

It is exciting when poems, especially ones I love, find homes in different places. There is something delightful in that. Thank you to the editors for selecting these two.

in with the new, out with the old

Posted by Daniela Elza on Dec 31 2017 | Comment now »

It is the last day of the year. This always harkens back to my childhood where gifts were exchanged on the same night on which the new year tiptoed in. Santa meant out with the old, in with the new.

I find that quite symbolic now. The idea of physical gifts is not as exciting as when I was a child, but the metaphor remains. The gifts I look forward to in the new year are the wishes I make, the hopes I throw into the days that lie ahead like little beacons that guide me.

It has been another year of growth and exploration and new beginnings. I got my first literary essay published. As an editor, I edited my first essay which also got accepted for publication. Needless to say the writer I worked with is thrilled.

I would like to thank all of you whose work I had the chance to edit this past year. It is an honour to be trusted with your words and poems. A precious cargo we ferry back and forth. I celebrate with you the success you have had in placing this work for publication. It brings me as much joy to see your work published as it gives me to see my own.

I want to thank all the editors, and publishers, I have worked on my own work with, and always appreciate the care you put to preserve its integrity and the way it is laid out on the page.

This was also a year in which I had the chance to go back home. My younger son and I travelled to Bulgaria. The last time he was there was when he was six. Now he is seventeen. We spent a week in Venice, where I finally met poet and dear friend Arlene Ang in person. Then we had a few weeks in Sofia, and one on the Black Sea, with my parents. An eight hour layover in Munich gave us the opportunity to meet Dorothee Lang, another writer artist friend who I had never met in person. Thanks to her, we got to see the old city, a bit of a large park, a bit of art gallery, and have lunch with various sausages at Hofbräuhaus, a famous 500 year old beer hall. Then the flight back to Vancouver.

It has also been a year of political and environmental challenges around the world. It is inevitable for those to not affect us personally in our lives as well. I hope for less of that.

I wish us all health. If there is good health a lot more is possible. I wish you all further success in all your pursuits in the new year. Let it be peaceful, and full of delightful moments, with laughter and love.

upcoming poems new and old

Posted by Daniela Elza on Nov 16 2017 | Comment now »

Last month Prism international accepted my poem life as conceptual art. It is forthcoming in their 56.2 issue. I am thrilled it will find a home there. This will be the longest poem I’ve had published in a journal so far, a total of six pages. Thank you to the Editor Shazia Hafiz. This long poem is part of my unpublished manuscript the ruined pages which is also looking for a home.

In other good news, five previously published poems were accepted for an anthology/collection titled Suffering and the intelligence of Love: In light and darkness This compilation has now found a publisher. My poems will be scattered throughout the book. They are:

  • Plato killed a moth in my dream
  • ode to the critic
  • it: attempts at definition
  • a shoreline to stand on
  • beauty is embarrassing

Of course there were a few rejections too, but not worth mentioning. :-)

Ok, back to the editing and writing.

What have you been up to this dark and rainy November month?

Come write with me at UFV, Campus, Hope, BC

Posted by Daniela Elza on Oct 13 2017 | Comment now »

I will be giving a whole day workshop in beautiful Hope, BC on November 11th from 9am to 5pm at UFV Hope Campus. The intention is to go through the whole process of creating to submitting a piece of work. And attend to the in between phases. Especially suitable for:
*people who fear poetry
*or think they might be poets, but are not sure where to begin
*or poets who are emerging
*or poets who need a jumpstart
*or writers who wish to poeticize their prose
So it is not limited to poetry entirely, we can also address how poetic awareness and skills help us in our writing in other genres. The submission process section of the day will mostly address poetry submission for publication. In other words it will not address finding agents.
If you have any questions please let me know. I am looking forward to this very much. Please pass the information to friends and people you know might benefit from this. For registration see info below.

Hope Campus (1250 7th Ave Hope, BC V0X 1L4) course reference number 80277 . 1 session. Saturday Nov 11/17 . 9am – 5pm $150 (including tax) call to register 1-888-823-8734 or visit a University of the Fraser Valley Office of the Registrar location

Poetry Process – Writing, Editing, and Submitting

In this workshop we will go through the point of generating text through writing activities. We will consider basic techniques of editing your own and other’s work. We will think about what writing means, how it finds its form and the benefits of a writing practice. We will write a cover letter for submission as well as discuss questions around publication.

*the shape of questions*

Posted by Daniela Elza on Sep 21 2017 | 1 Comment »

the shape of questions was published a while back in Vallum’s Play and the Absurd issue (6:2). This week it was featured at Vallum Poem of the Week. If you click through to the link you can also hear a recording I experimented with.

Thank you Vallum for picking it out. The permanent home of this poem is in the weight of dew (Mother Tongue Publshing, 2012). Poems like to travel, so it is always nice to see where they end up.

all this, sustenance

Posted by Daniela Elza on Sep 12 2017 | Comment now »

I am thrilled that my poem all this will be coming out in an anthology on local food. Sustenance: Writers from B.C. and Beyond on the Subject of Food anthology will be published this year by Anvil Press, 2017. It is put together by current poet laureate of Vancouver, Rachel Rose. I am thrilled because it is a very special poem to me, one that has grown in significance since it was written.

In 2015, I went to Armstrong and stayed with Jamie MacDonald and Cat Majors (4663 North Grandview Flats Rd., Armstrong, BC, V0E 1B5). They run Armstrong Apiaries. I spent a few days on their bee farm in August, and contributed to the Poetry at the Market, which Cat had organized for their Farmers Market. We read poems while people shopped for local food and hung out. Poems were written on the spot, on a typewriter, for interested passers by. Cat had also arranged for a table with manual typewriters. All day children and adults click-clacked, wrote whatever they wished. Many of the young writers had never seen, let alone touched, a typewriter. It was common to hear them exclaim what muscle it took to actually make marks on a page. For some who remember typewriters, like myself, it was sheer nostalgia.

I initially met Cat while I was launching the weight of dew in Vernon and the Historic Mackie House in 2012. She was such a generous and kind host. Everything had the feel of care and love around her. Things in her house were not just things, they were memories. There was a special handmade black-and-white carved soap waiting just for me. It felt as if from the moment we met we recognized a kindred spirit in each other.

The buckets of honey I brought back to Vancouver reminded me, with each spoonful, of the place, Cat and Jamie, the bees, the fields that surrounded the blue bee house.

I vividly remember the morning when I got up very early and Jamie took me around the farm. The italics in the poem are close to the things he said if not exactly what he said.

Between the time of submission of this poem and its acceptance, I heard the devastating news. Cat passed away last year, after being diagnosed with cancer. One of the last exchanges I had with Cat was to send her a rough draft of the poem. She wrote back:

Seeing our little farm
Interpreted so
So lovingly
Is a deep thrill
Thank you, Daniela

I then sent her another little poem which later got absorbed in all this. That one ended with the lines:

I bend down to the dying
pray they will never leave.

I meant that for the bees. I did not know Cat was also dying. She loved that one too. That was probably the last exchange we had.

This poem is dedicated to the bright light that Cat was, and still is in my mind. It is dedicated to her love for the bees, and her playful, poetic spirit. It will remain a small altar for the special moments and rituals we shared together, for the bee-dance hugs, the walks, the laughter I still hear, for her love of people, bees and life. It will always remind me that sustenance is not just what we grow with love, what we nourish out bodies with, but also what we let in our hearts, what we choose to celebrate.

need a poetry editor?

Posted by Daniela Elza on Sep 06 2017 | Comment now »

I have really enjoyed working with emerging poets this year from near and far, including youth. Thank you to those who have already contacted me. It has been a pleasure.

The League of Canadian Poets has a page for manuscript readers and poetry editors. You will find me there, second on the list right behind Di Brandt.

I work with emerging poets, including writers in the Poetic Inquiry field who employ poetry as part of their thesis and research.
I have a soft spot for ESL writers.
We can meet face-to-face, we can work remotely through email and/or skype, or a combination of any of these. I am generous with my time.
You are the guide, you know best what you are putting into the words, while I give suggestions for rewording, cuts, organization, to help your work shine.
The goal is not only to improve your poems/manuscript, but for you to still love them at the end.

My rate per hour: $45
My rate for a manuscript: $400
Some sliding scale pricing available.

If you find that we might be a good match and you want to take your poems, or manuscript, to the next level, do not hesitate to contact me @
Feel free to inquire with your questions. Include a couple of sample poems of your work.

sometimes, the heat & hiss

Posted by Daniela Elza on Sep 04 2017 | Comment now »

The Inflectionist Review has nominated the poem “Sometimes” (Issue 6), for this year’s Orison Anthology. This poem was written in collaboration with Linda King, whose work I admire. Linda is one of the few poets I can read who inspire me to pick up the pen and write a poem. I usually get my poetic inspiration from other places.

The Inflectionist Review has also nominated my poem “the heat & hiss” for the 2017 Best of the Net Award (hosted by Sundress Publications). An older version of the “heat and hiss” poem appears in the chapbook the emblem of minutes which was put together by Kevin Spenst and was written to music by Jason Zumpano.

Thank you to the editors John Sibley Williams and Anatoly Molotkov of The Inflectionist Review for making these choices, and sending the poems on adventures. Thank you for being so supportive of my work over the years.