Spotlight: Elana Bell

Hobart Festival of Women Writers welcomes back Elana Bell, poet, performer and community-builder.

Elana Bell   Elana Bell, the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, and the Brooklyn Arts Council has, for the past ten years, served as the writer in residence for the Bronx Academy of Letters. In addition to working as a poet in the schools and developing curriculum for the Community Word Project and the DreamYard Project, Elana also teaches her acclaimed Writing Toward Peace curriculum internationally with Seeds of Peace, the Tent of Nations and Encounter, offering transformative creative writing workshops to support dialogue and peace building for educators and community members from regions in conflict. Elana brings her strong theatre training and soulful presence wherever she goes. She has been a featured poet in numerous venues throughout the United States and abroad including the Bowery Poetry Club, NuYorican Poets Café, Bar 13, Hunter College, Teachers and Writers Collaborative, and Sarah Lawrence College among others.

Elana Bell3
Elana Bell reads at Festival of Women Writers 2013

Experience the poetry and performance of Elana Bell for the video series Poets On Poetry, edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths, who will join Festival of Women Writers 2017

Elana Bell’s debut collection of poetry, Eyes, Stones (LSU Press 2012), was selected by Fanny Howe as the winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, and brings her complex heritage as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors to consider the difficult question of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Eyes, Stones - Bell

Elana Bell has the gift of reach. Her compact, potent poems create the rich texture of worlds, exploring complicated realities and contradictions, risking empathy, bravely reaching beyond a ‘safe zone’ where only one story merits telling and one suffering deserves respect. Her voice, both tender and tough, searches for a true inheritance that includes everybody. How will people ever get anywhere better together without poems like these?”

— Naomi Shihab Nye

Elana’s writing has recently appeared in AGNI, Harvard Review, and the Massachusetts Review. She offers workshops on college campuses, for educators, women in prison and throughout a spectrum of other communities.

For Festival of Women Writers 2017, Elana Bell will be featured in A Public Conversation on Art and Politics. This panel, including Kathy Engel (moderator), Marianela Medrano and Nancy Bereano, will discuss the inseparability of artistic and political practice, how writing engages and shapes history and how public performance presents communities with avenues of critique.

Poets Pop-Up in the most surprising places. Join Elana Bell on the Q train.

For more information about Elana Bell and her work, go to:

For more information about Festival of Women Writers 2017:

Festival of Women Writers 2017 is September 8, 9 & 10th.Registration opens on June 15th


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