Posted by Daniela Elza on Mar 10 2007

    • This is the blog of Daniela Elza.

I am a poet, a writer, an educator, a scholar, going rogue when necessary. Over time this blog has turned into the place where I track and keep up with my publications, books, reviews, awards, readings, launches, interviews, and things of interest that I might want to think about in a public space. In that respect it is more comprehensive than any piece of paper or resume I have. I actually use it to update my resume.

  • How this blog began?

:the philosophic and poetic of it:

Strange Places is about words and the places they take us. About poetry. The places it comes from and the power it has to create and re-invent us. It is about bringing poetry and philosophy back together. Also inevitably about the institutions that hold worlds and words prisoners, and with them our imagination. Or release them into the human imagination.

The words “strange places” came up in a conversation with friends, and somehow I knew that was the name of the blog that I have been contemplating. Strange? That is part of the mystery. Words take us to strange places in which we discover the strange places we are. Where we become more familiar with ourselves, get to know each other better, on a journey that gathers its own weight, discovery and surprise. Ultimately, I hope, a place that is not so strange, after all.

Photo Credit: Frank Lee
Help with the tech side: Dethe Elza


    28 Responses to “ABOUT”

    1. David Fraser Says:

      Daniela, Just a correction on the date for WordStorm. We have changed venues and days. It will be the Monday Nov. 29th at the Red Martini Grill in Nanaimo.

    2. Daniela Elza Says:

      Thank David,
      I will fix that right away.

    3. Tracks: BPR #24 « Living ?s Says:

      […] It is paired with words by Vancouver poet Daniela Elza. […]

    4. Ariana Says:

      hello! So glad I found you again. I have been thinking about reconnecting with you for two years. I keep remembering your poem about Bulgaria….I want to read that again. And SO great to read your blog!!

    5. Roaming Poets in Qualicum Beach | Pig Squash Press Says:

      […] are: David Fraser, Yvonne Blomer, Daniela Elza and Kim […]

    6. Judy Mayhew Says:

      Hi, Daniela: Thanks so much for The Book of It. And so interesting to see how well it connected to your stories on early childhood education during dinner at David’s. I loved being a part of the Roaming Poets day. Hope you come to the Island again soon.

    7. Daniela Elza Says:

      Thank you Judy, I am sure I will be back. It was a warm day in so many ways. I felt among friends even though I met most of you for the first time. Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

    8. Charles Scott Says:

      Dear Daniela,

      Hearty congratulations on being awarded the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. Absolutely perfect choice–you so deserve the Medal. As well, congrats on the CAGS UMI nomination.

      I am not surprised at any of this. Your work is sublime. All the best.


    9. Daniela Elza Says:

      Oh, Charles,
      Thank you so much. Just got back from the dinner. Off to the convocation tomorrow.
      You were an important anchor the last couple of years at SFU, for which I thank you. You deserve a special award too, Both for your work and for the support you were/are to others.
      Lets get together sometime soon.

    10. Miranda Holmes Says:

      Dear Daniela,

      I work for Living Oceans. We are currently collecting images of individuals from BC (and everywhere else) who are opposed to the Harper government’s proposals to pipe Alberta tar sands oil through pristine wilderness to load onto tankers which will traverse the pristine waters of our coastline. The images will be loaded onto our Keep It Clean map (http://www.livingoceans.org/maps/keep-it-clean).

      I found out about the Enpipe Line project and am contacting contributors in the hope that you will agree to submit a photo for inclusion on the map. You can do this yourself via our site (link above) or by sending it to me with a note acknowledging that you have read and agree to our terms of use.

      All photos of contributors will have a link to the Enpipe Line page on Creekstone’s website, so we can help to promote the project.

      The one piece of information we need (in addition to your name) is your home post code so that your image can be accurately sited on the map.

      I hope you’ll want to get involved and look forward to hearing from you.

      All the best,

    11. “Living With Poetry” – Daniela Found Her Words Amongst Lego, Diapers And Rattles | Let ME Out!! Says:

      […] morning and welcome to another People with Passion post!  Today’s guest is Daniela Elza.  I have had the pleasure of working with Daniela for the past 3 years through Pandora’s […]

    12. Joel Preston Smith Says:

      Dear Daniela: I just came across your website while reading bios at The League of Canadian Poets. I’d like to invite you to submit work for a book I’m co-editing (a book of ekphrastic poems based on images I took during the Iraq War). I’m listing the text for the guidelines below, but to see the images, you’d need to download the PDF:


      Here’s the straight text (thank you for considering the project):

      Image Poem Iraq is a book project conceived by Joel Preston Smith, a writer and photographer in Portland, Oregon, and Mary Bast, a poet in Gainesville, Florida. The book will ‘match’ images taken by Joel Preston Smith in Iraq in 2003 (before and after the U.S. invasion) with poems related to specific images that will appear in the book.
To submit a poem, first view the images in this PDF, and chose one or more to write about. Each poem should be related to a specific image (see the submission example on the right). Submissions are due on or by November 1, 2013. Poets can contribute more than one poem, but the project centers on publishing a book in which each poem (or a series of poems by multiple contributors) is strongly related to one particular image.
Poems do NOT have to be about war, or Iraq, or any of the ‘obvious’ themes that might be perceived in the images. We, as editors, hope to see poems that do have a discernible connection to the images, but the poems don’t have to reference the images in some kind of ‘direct’ manner.

      Titling, etc.: Please title your poem, and note which page of the PDF your poem relates to (you might also want to describe the image—just to be sure). Those details should be included as a footnote (in essence) to the poem—meaning beneath the poem (you don’t have to use superscript or otherwise set off the footnote). Please include both your poem(s) and page number in your submission (the page of the PDF on which the image occurs that inspired your poem). Make it easy for us (please) to know which image you are writing about. Lastly, include your contact info (your email address).

      Feel free to forward these guidelines to anyone you believe might be interested in contributing poetry.
Line length: 64 is the maximum number of lines we will publish (but we prefer 32 or less) for a given poem. The book will likely be ‘chapbook’ sized—roughly 5.5 x 8.5 inches, and will include the photographs related to the poems we’ve chosen for publication.
Format: Format your poem according to how you wish it to be seen. Ideally, you should send poems in rich text format (RTF files), as Word documents DOC files), or OpenOffice documents (ODT files).

      Production: By Oct. 1, we plan to have finished selections for the book and will notify submitters if their poems have been accepted or deemed not a match. By Nov. 1 we (ideally) will have a completed design, and can begin approaching publishers. Payment for submissions will be, at a minimum, in digital editions. If proceeds exceed $1000, we will issue payments dependent on projected revenue.

      Book title: The title will likely be chosen from a phrase from one of the accepted poems. Until then, it’s just Image Poem Iraq.

      Where to send your submissions

      Email Joel Preston Smith and Mary Bast at:

      joel@joelprestonsmith.com, mary.bast@att.net

      And good luck with your work.

      — Joel & Mary

      More about Joel:



      More about Mary:


    13. Leanne Dyck Says:

      Thank you for providing such a fun and information-rich workshop at Lit Fest New West. You request feedback–and I’ve written a review. Here’s the link: http://sweatercursed.blogspot.ca/2014/04/priceless-literary-festival.html

    14. Daniela Elza Says:

      Thank you Leanne, great to have you at the workshop. So glad you found it inspiring and useful. The participation of the attendees made it fun and a good success.
      Thank you for your thoughts. I left a comment on your blog but not sure if I managed to post it. Tried three times.
      Hope I succeeded. :-)

    15. Charlotte Bowdery Says:

      Hi Daniela,
      Lovely to meet you last week at Bedales. Here is a link to our newsletter which includes a feature on your visit: http://www.bedales.org.uk/media/83/24083-17-may-2014.pdf

    16. Daniela Elza Says:

      Thank you. Charlotte. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bedales.

    17. Students inspired by poet | Bedales Academic & Curriculum Says:

      […] week we were joined by Daniela Elza, a Canadian Poet (of Bulgarian extraction!) who was a gap student here 22 years ago. Daniela spent […]

    18. Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society | 1st annual Bloomsday Celebrated on June 14th, 2014 in Southlands Says:

      […] by invited literary figures including a Canadia Playwright, John John MacLachlan Gray and a poet Daniela Elza, and mostly celebrating the wonderful Irish author James Joyce and his most famous publication […]

    19. Wesley Desjardins Says:

      Dear Daniela,

      I just purchased the book “4 poets” that “in the flicker of (time” which I read immideatly after walking outside the store. I felt that the message for me is to take time to be in wonderment of life especially the beauty of nature. I wrote a piece after finsihing reading your section of the book. “Country Roads” (Bernie and Grandpa were enroute to the border when I messaged him. In Virginia. I sent him John Denver’s song. They had just finsihed listeing to it earlier. West Virginia. Younger than the mountains. Yes, the Strength of Love in the mountains.
      I flew over the Rockies… Roads in the sky. All roads. Came to my home far away. To the place I belong. Where all is love.)

    20. Daniela Elza Says:

      Thank you Wesley,
      for reminding of that poem. I love that poem. I wrote it for someone who did not care much about poetry, but we went back and forth for a while, after an initial challenge of writing her a poem with yogurt in it. She probably said that in jest, but I took the challenge and sent her a poem. She liked that and then she would send me a piece of music or a picture and ask me to write her a poem with those.
      For this poem, she sent me a photo from flickr, which is how flicker made it into the title. I should go back and reread all those poems. :-) Yes, the place I belong. I realize now that all 3 poets in “4 poets” went on to each publish a few books and one recently had an exhibit in the Vancouver Art Gallery. I am happy to be in their company. Not to mention that book brought me together with two good friends.

    21. Wesley Desjardins Says:

      Thanks for the quick response. “A small village hosts their talks. A good friend lives here”. I thought of Merlin the wizard. Ive been doing a guided meditation where you venture to meet Merlin.

      I at first was resistant to the spacing between words in your poems in this book. But began to see it as a way to bring a related emotion or intelligence as if two or more speakers are delivering the message. Perhaps that wasnt your intention but it worked for me.

      When you said the writings of poetry teach us so much simply in the process of writing then afterwards rereading and appreciating the message and art of it, I had definately experienced that myself.

    22. Wesley Desjardins Says:

      Also I did read your response very appreciative I just didnt exactly know what to directly respond with. Perhaps simply that I am grateful.

    23. Daniela Elza Says:

      Oh, I was just learning this one by heart for a performance i wanted to do. This is a real village. And these three mountains are real. And I did meet a good friends there after many years. :-)
      Interesting what you say about the spacing. I love the two or more speakers delivering the message. The spaces increase the possibility of slowing us down, of the eye finding whirlpools of words in which the reader might see small poems to linger with. It is meant to be organic and the way nature invites us to zero in on something small like a bug, or to look at the bigger view. I am trying to recreate that with words.
      There are a number of reasons for the spaces, of course. They are also the silences, the missing stories. They are the space between the cells where nutrients move in and out, and exchanges happen. The shape becomes a permeable membrane, the way we are permeable. And the way both the reader and the writer find meaning, the two voices you speak of.
      Thank you for your thoughts and generosity of reaching out.

    24. Wesley Desjardins Says:

      You are recreating that. I see that and for me in that slowing down it did release a pause that shifted the focus nicely. Perhaps like throwing stones in a Pond and watching there ripples interact compared to a consitent “normal” wave.

      Funny you should talk about nutrients I put a cut up length of celery and a slice of lime in water this morning. Well really thats been my hydration source today.

      I read recently a suggestion for healing “conditions” personal or of the world to apply the elastic ability of consciousness to heal. Focusing for a moment on the harmful things then upon the source of healing whatever quality that may be. Which Im relating to “the bug” and “bigger picture”

    25. Wesley Desjardins Says:

      That place was in Bulgaria?

    26. Wesley Desjardins Says:

      “In the flicker of (time” I see this morning, (time, (here, Now, Always as the message my friend Tony reminded me recently “learning to be present” in the now which is always and is right here the only time we have. Haha brilliant! “That will never be here again” Nice. “The now is called the present because it is the gift”

    27. Daniela Elza Says:

      We only truly live in the present. In this gift. :-)

    28. Wesley Desjardins Says:

      Yes. “Whose worth unknown yet his height be taken”. Not 100% sure why that came to mind but sort of a comment adding to the use of “gift” in this sense.

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