poet Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass

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

  • ellen gilman (5/4/2019 9:20:00 AM)

    Both of my children are celebrating wedding anniversaries in the next two weeks. I'm sending the older couple GATE C22 and the younger couple THE MORNING AFTER because I can't think of anything more gorgeous to give them. I adore your poems! ! ! Thank you.

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Best Poem of Ellen Bass

Dead Butterfly

For months my daughter carried
a dead monarch in a quart mason jar.
To and from school in her backpack,
to her only friend's house. At the dinner table
it sat like a guest alongside the pot roast.
She took it to bed, propped by her pillow.

Was it the year her brother was born?
Was this her own too-fragile baby
that had lived—so briefly—in its glassed world?
Or the year she refused to go to her father's house?
Was this the holding-her-breath girl she became there?

This plump child in her rolled-down socks
I ...

Read the full of Dead Butterfly