photo credit: Paul Joseph


Elee Kraljii Gardiner is an author, editor, and creative mentor from Boston who lives in Vancouver, Canada on the unceded ancestral homelands of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish people.  Her poetry collections are Trauma Head (2018), a chapbook of the same name (Otter Press, 2017), and serpentine loop (Anvil Press, 2016), all of which have been nominated for national awards. In September 2019 she launched the anthology Against Death: 35 Essays on Living (Anvil Press, 2019) which is a sibling book to Trauma Head and has already been named a “Best Book of the Year” by Bookwarehouse. Her first book, V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012) coedited with John Asfour, reflects her work with Thursdays Writing Collective, a beloved non-profit organization she founded and for which she edited and published nine anthologies. Elee is a director of Vancouver Manuscript Intensive and in 2020 received an MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She does poetry outreach visits in Canadian classrooms through Poetry In Voice.


Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the author of two poetry books Trauma Head, winner of the Fred Cogswell Poetry Prize, and serpentine loop, shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award, and has edited two acclaimed anthologies Against Death: 35 Essays on Living and V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Award. An experienced mentor, Elee is the founding director of Thursdays Writing Collective, which supported emerging writers from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She has performed her award-winning poetry and hosted events at festivals across North America, including the Vancouver Writers Fest, the Railroad Reading Series, and the Annual Creative Writing Conference at the University of Chiang Mai. Originally from Boston, Elee now lives with her family in Vancouver on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Peoples.

MEDIUM (French):

Elee Kraljii Gardiner est une mentore en création, poète et éditrice établie à Vancouver. Elle a publié le recueil de poèmes Trauma Head (2018), une brochure sous le même titre (Otter Press, 2017), le recueil serpentine loop (Anvil Press, 2016), et dirigé les collectifs Against Death: 35 Essays on Living (Anvil Press, 2019) et V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012). Elle a fondé l’organisation à but non lucratif réputée Thursdays Writing Collective, où elle a dirigé neuf collectifs depuis dix ans. Elle est directrice associée de Vancouver Manuscript Intensive et éditrice de la non-fiction au Chapter House Journal, le périodique en ligne du Institute of American Indian Arts où elle est candidate à la maîtrise ès arts en poésie


Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the author of Trauma Head and serpentine loop, and the editor of the anthologies V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and Against Death: 35 Essays on Living. She lives in Vancouver on the unceded ancestral lands of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish people.

Awards and Notables:

  • Trauma Head was awarded the 2019 Fred Cogswell Poetry Award, and nominated for the 2018 Raymond Souster Award and the 2015 Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.
  • Against Death was a finalist for the Hoffer Grand Prize, the 2019 Montaigne Medal(both from the US) and is one of BookWarehouse’s “Best Books of the Year”.
  • The handmade medical file chapbook, Trauma Head (Otter Press, 2017) was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award in 2018.
  • serpentine loop was one of CBC’s  “most anticipated spring releases,” of 2016, was named to three “Best of” lists of the year in Canada as well as shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award.
  • V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012), which was shortlisted for the 2012 City of Vancouver Book Award.
  • Each title went into second printing within its first year.
  • 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.


Her writing is published in places including TCR, Event, PRISM International, Her poem “Doppelgänger”  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), Sustenance (Anvil Press), Gush (Frontenac), Ghost Fishing (Split This Rock) and Sweetwater:Poems for the Watershed (Caitlin Press). Elee’s essay “On Immigration” received Best of the Net 2017 from All Lit Up. Her work has been translated into French, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish.

Elee is on the advisory board of the Andover Breadloaf Project and was on the editorial board of Poetry is Dead. She 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 was a Poetry Ambassador for Vancouver Poet Laureate Rachel Rose and currently works as a mentor and associate director at Vancouver Manuscript Intensive.

Note: The name is not as tricky as it looks! Pronounce it (“Elly Kral-jee Gardner”)

Contact at eleethursdays (at) and Twitter at @eleekg

Here are high res photos for events or posters. All photo credits Paul Joseph.


4 thoughts on “Bios/Reviews

  1. Elee . . I work at CBC Kamloops. A local woman heard you on radio and wanted to hear the podcast. Tyler Schell’s mum had a stroke recently. she was hoping to hear the podcast through CBC. Do you have a copy? It would help her greatly if they could find it. Thanks so much


    1. Hi there, Thanks for reaching out. Are you looking for a copy of Trauma Head, the book, or a copy of the interview on NXNW? The book is available from any bookstore -it may have to be ordered in, but its available- or online through Anvil Press or Amazon. The interview should be up in a week, I think. Let me know if there is something else I can help with. I appreciate you listening and/or reading. Thanks again!


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