Testimonials From Ellen’s Students

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Testimonials From Ellen’s Students 2016-10-26T19:07:56+00:00

“Ellen is a wise, engaging teacher who has the rare gift of being able to translate her own genius into practical learnings for writers of every level and genre.  Her transformative workshops build both talent and community.” —Denise Norton

“The greatest strides I’ve made in my creative journey have been the direct result of studying with Ellen. She brings every aspect of craft to the table and has an astute understanding of what makes a poem work, with attention to word, line, tone, and shape. She listens with mind and heart, and responds with precision. Ellen takes the work seriously, but keeps the mood fun and light. If you’re just beginning, blocked, or an advanced poet seeking to stretch in new directions, I recommend you get to know Ellen Bass.” —Pamela Davis, Author of Lunette, ABZ Prize for Poetry

“Ellen is a magician; coaxing miraculous moments out of stumbling first drafts. She teaches tricks of the heart, ways of trusting that we know more than we think we do. I have learned about myself, my many selves, in the alchemy her open-minded acceptance of diverse peoples fosters. Ellen is magic.” —David Allen Sullivan, Author of three books of poetry and a book of co-translations, prof. of literature and film at Cabrillo Community College

“I was a bit intimidated to take Ellen Bass’ workshop as I am not an accomplished writer and she is such an incredible poet. I am ever so glad I did. It was so inspiring to be with her and learn her tips for successful writing. I found Ellen to be genuine and warm and inclusive. I can’t believe I almost missed this chance to connect with her. Now I feel like a legitimate student of writing and I’m an even bigger fan of her work.” —Jennifer BoydPhysician Assistant and Reiki Master

“I have known Ellen for fifty years and been her student and assistant at many a workshop. I can attest to her dogged sense of what’s right and wrong with my writing and how to fix it. What is particularly irritating after all these years is that she is almost always right. Her writing advice is impeccable and she has the patience of a tree. Be forewarned: attending Ellen’s workshops or just one of her poetry readings can be life altering.” —Beverly Sky

“I continue to take workshops and study with Ellen Bass because her ability to laugh, her ease with which she imparts knowledge, her manner in which she translates experience, are all masterful. Ellen has a graceful way of getting to the heart of what works best (and what can go) in my poems.” —Robert Vaughan, Author of Microtones, Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits, and Addicts & Basements, editor of Flash Fiction Fridays , JMWW and Lost in Thought magazine, roundtable leader at Red Oak Writing

“Ellen imparts such a warm feeling of inspiration, openness, safety, and generosity in her teaching that over the years I’ve gone back to her writing and poetry groups again and again. I love her. I call her my friend and mentor. I couldn’t have written my memoir without her. Please experience Ellen’s love for the craft of writing and her loving demeanor for yourself.” —Madeline Sharples, Author and Poet

“I’ve participated in Ellen Bass’s workshops for many years. She is the consummate poet-teacher: smart, insightful, funny, an excellent poet, a delightful person. She is one of those few people who excel both in their art and in their ability to teach what they know how to do. Each time I’ve worked with Ellen, I come away with a renewed access to the creative within me and with new skills to manifest that creativity in my poetry.” —Steve McDonald, Emeritus Professor of English, Palomar College, author of Where There Was No Pattern, House of Mirrors, and Golden Fish / Dark Pond

“Ellen has a smart, funny, instinctive way of working with writers that is pure magic. Maybe even pure music. Because the subtle, ingenious way she works with people is impossible to put a finger on. She is kind, generous, and incisive. Her easy smile soothes and lights up a room. And she has about her a sense of quiet importance that makes people feel that what they write deeply matters, and that their cherished ‘inner critic’ is an idiot, and that nothing stands between them and being the best writer they can possibly be.” —Jon Pearson, Writer, Cartoonist, Educational Consultant

“Ellen’s workshops offer a safe, creative space that encourages beginners and challenges more experienced writers. Like her luminous poetry, Ellen glows with the wisdom and acceptance of one who has ‘come through it,’ ready to praise what there is to be praised and a gift for listening into the heart of a poem. Her feedback is smart, incisive and funny. Ellen’s craft talks inspire me to experiment with new techniques. She has helped me banish my ‘inner critic’ and take my writing to a whole new level.“ —Elya Braden, Poet and Author of In Love’s Garden