Ellen Bass

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Ellen Bass (born 1947, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American poet and co-author of The Courage to Heal.

Life[edit]

She grew up in Margate City, NJ, where her parents owned a liquor store. She attended Goucher College, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1968 with her bachelor’s degree. She pursued a master’s degree at Boston University, where she studied with Anne Sexton, and graduated in 1970. From 1970–1974, Bass worked as an administrator at Project Place, a social service center in Boston.[1] She currently is teaching in the low residency MFA program at Pacific University in Oregon and has been teaching Writing About Our Lives workshops since 1974 in Santa Cruz, California.[2]

Her poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including The Atlantic Monthly, Ms., The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares,[3] and Field. Much of her earlier writing is confessional poetry.

Her nonfiction books include I Never Told Anyone, Free Your Mind, and The Courage to Heal, which has sold over a million copies and has been translated into twelve languages.

She lives in Santa Cruz, California, where she has taught poetry and creative writing since 1974.

Awards[edit]

She was awarded the Elliston Book Award for Poetry from the University of Cincinnati, Nimrod/Hardman’s Pablo Neruda Prize, The Missouri Review’s Larry Levis Award, the Greensboro Poetry Prize, the New Letters Poetry Prize, the Chautauqua Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and a fellowship from the California Arts Council.[4]

The Human Line[5] (Copper Canyon Press, 2007) was named among the notable books of 2007 in the section poetry by the San Francisco Chronicle[6] and Mules of Love (BOA Editions, 2002) won the 2002 Lambda Literary Award in the category lesbian poetry. Like A Beggar[7] (Copper Canyon Press, 2014) is her most recent book of poetry.

Selected works[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Nonfiction[edit]

  • I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins 1983, 1991) (co-authored with Louise Thornton and others)
  • The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins 1988, 1994) (co-authored with Laura Davis)
  • Beginning to Heal: A First Book for Men and Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children (HarperCollins 1993, 2003) (co-authored with Laura Davis)
  • Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth—and Their Allies (HarperCollins, 1996) (co-authored with Kate Kaufman)

Children’s books[edit]

  • I like you to make jokes with me, but I don’t want you to touch me (Lollipop Power, 1981; Carolina Wren Press, 1993)

References[edit]

External links[edit]