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Ellen Jaffe at the Desk

In Open Book’s At The Desk series, writers speak about their creative processes and the workspaces that inspire them. In the latest edition of At The Desk, Ellen Jaffe talks about her different approaches to writing (although primarily a poet, Ellen also writes fiction, plays, and the occasional non-fiction piece) and how she approaches each genre with its own distinct writing process.9781550718430_large

“I tend to write poems in longhand, at home or wherever I happen to be – cafe, hiking trail, GO train, airplane. So it helps to have a notebook with me, though I use anything handy – old envelopes, backs of chequebooks, etc. Once, when I heard a poem in my mind while driving to work, I pulled over to the side of the highway to scribble down some lines. Soon a police officer approached my car and asked politely if anything was wrong. ‘I’m just writing a poem,’ I explained. He looked puzzled but, still polite, went on his way.” For the full interview, you can check Open Book’s website at

Born in New York City, Ellen S. Jaffe came to Canada in 1979. Her published books include Writing Your Way: Creating a Personal JournalWater Children (poetry); Feast of Lights: a young adult novel; and Syntymalauluja/Birth Songs, a selection of poems translated into Finnish. She has also written and produced plays for children and adults. She lives in Hamilton where she is active in the city’s literary scene.

Posted in Interviews, News, Poetry.

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