Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the author of the book of poems serpentine loop (Anvil Press), one of 2016’s “most anticipated spring releases,” named to three “Best of” lists of the year in Canada as well as shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award. She is the co-editor with John Asfour of V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012), which was shortlisted for the 2012 City of Vancouver Book Award. A handmade chapbook, Trauma Head (Otter Press, 2017) is a precursor to her second book of poetry with the same name (spring 2018) that has already been shortlisted for the Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Elee founded Thursdays Writing Collective, a non-profit organization of more than 150 writers in Vancouver and she is the editor and publisher of eight of their anthologies. She is originally from Boston and is a dual US/Canadian citizen. eleekg.com
Thursdays Writing Collective is a non-profit program of free, drop-in creative writing classes at Carnegie Community Centre for members of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area challenged by poverty-related issues and beloved by residents for its optimism, activism and creativity. Since the Collective’s inception in 2008, more than 150 writers ranging in age from 18-86 years old have participated in writing sessions, events and festivals including the Heart of the City, Spirit Rising, Candahar Art Bar at the Cultural Olympiad, Word on the Street, V125 Poetry Conference, the Memory Festival and numerous artistic collaborations with diverse literary communities, including UBC Law, Music and Performance students. The Collective, which Geist magazine called, “the biggest, boldest, and by far the most vital conspiracy of writers operating in Vancouver at present,” has published eight books with the support of Canada Council, City of Vancouver, SFU and Carnegie Community Centre, most recently The Menu (Otter Press, 2016). In 2016 Elee passed the directorship of the Collective to Amber Dawn and assumed an active Board role. She continues writing with the group and serving as publisher and creative mentor.
Elee’s efforts to foster writers earned the 2015 Pandora’s Collective BC Writer Mentor Award. She is also the recipient of CV2’s Lina Chartrand Award in 2011 and in 2014 was a finalist for Malahat’s Far Horizons Prize.
Elee’s writing is published in places including TCR, Event, Prism International, Lemonhound.com. Hers was the first poem published in Harvard Medicine Journal in more than 40 years. She is a contributor to several anthologies such as ForceField (Mother Tongue), Walk Myself Home (Caitlin Press), Enpipe Line (Creekstone), Alive at the Centre (Ooligan Press) and forthcoming Ghost Fishing (Split This Rock).
Elee is on the editorial board of Poetry is Dead, was a member of the Advisory Council of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University and has served twice on the City of Vancouver Book Award jury. She is a founding member of CWILA (Canadian Women in Literary Arts) and a two-time member of their Critic in Residence jury. She is a Poetry Ambassador for Vancouver Poet Laureate Rachel Rose and a mentor with Vancouver Manuscript Intensive. A frequent collaborator, she teaches workshops on creativity and social writing.
Note: The name is not as tricky as it looks! Pronounce it (“Elly Kral-jee Gardner”)
Contact me at eleethursdays (at) gmail.com and follow me on Twitter at @eleekg
Here are photos for events or posters: