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Elline Lipkin Named Altadena Library Poet Laureate

Published on Friday, April 8, 2016 | 9:26 pm
Dr. Elline Lipkin. Photo courtesy Altadena Library District

The Altadena Library is pleased to announce the new Poet Laureate for the Altadena Library District, 2016-2018: Dr. Elline Lipkin. Her official inauguration will be on Saturday, April 30 at 1:00 p.m. at the 14th annual “Poetry and Cookies Reading Event” to be held at the Altadena Senior Center.

This free literary event also marks the launch of the Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2016 (formerly the Poetry & Cookies Anthology). The 2016 Anthology showcases 134 poems by 86 distinguished poets from Altadena, Pasadena, and the greater LA area. Poets published in the book, including Dr. Lipkin, will read their poems at this special event. The Anthology, and many books by the published poets, will be on display and will be for sale.

When told she was the Laureate Committee’s choice to be the library’s next poet laureate, Dr. Lipkin replied, “I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity. Still, Thelma Reyna [the current Poet Laureate] is a hard act to follow. She accomplished so much during her tenure. I look forward to meeting and working with other local poets and our wonderful community and making poetry more present in our lives.”

Mindy Kittay, Director of the Altadena Library District, has glowing compliments for Lipkin. “How fortunate we are to have Elline represent the library as its new poet laureate. Her poetry, credentials and service are outstanding. Our present laureate Thelma and other past laureates have also been fantastic. I believe talent flocks to our library and community!”

Dr. Lipkin has had experience in the literary world as a poet, academic, and nonfiction writer. Her first book of poetry, The Errant Thread, was chosen by Eavan Boland for the Kore Press First Book Award. Her second book, Girls’ Studies, explores contemporary girlhood in America and was published by Seal Press. She is currently at work on a second manuscript of poetry.

She has written about contemporary American girlhood in Difficult Dialogues about Twentieth Century Girls, being a feminist bride in Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style, on female friendship and feminist mothering for Ms. magazine,, and contributed a remembrance of studying with Philip Levine, to the anthology, Coming Close: 40 Essays on Philip Levine.

Her poetry has been published in a range of contemporary journals and she has been a resident at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. She has also been a Pushcart Prize nominee, an invited participant at a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar, and a presenter at the Modern Language Association conference.

Lipkin holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University; a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston; and is currently a Research Scholar with UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women. She also teaches poetry for Writing Workshops Los Angeles, as well as privately; works as an editor on a range of writing projects; and writes semi-regularly for the Ms. Magazine blog and Girl w/Pen.

Despite her busy schedule, Lipkin also finds time to be a volunteer with the nonprofit WriteGirl in Los Angeles, a frequent user of the Altadena Library; and she is also an active participant with the MOMS Club of Altadena. Lipkin has lived in the Los Angeles area for eight years, migrating from Berkeley, where she taught College Writing, Gender Studies, and Comparative Literature at UC-Berkeley. She lives in Altadena with her family and a garden overflowing with citrus.

This year, for the first time, the annual “Poetry & Cookies Reading Event” will be in two sessions, due to the record number of poets published this year. The first reading event will be from 1:00-2:30, then from 3:30-5:00. The public may attend one or both free sessions. Half of the poets will read at each of the events. Each session will be 1 ½ hours long, with a 1-hour break in between.

For more information, please see the library’s listing of this program at



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