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Elissa Ann Cottle became a poet at age 13 when she fell in love with a boy. The relationship with the boy lasted only a year but she has been in love with writing poetry ever since.


She grew up in Minneapolis before relocating to Stillwater, Minnesota. Later in life she was conferred as a master of fine arts in writing at Hamline University. She created her own business as a writer and editor for individuals, businesses and nonprofits ( She also has been teaching a private class for adults, Creating a Writing Life, now offered on Zoom.


She is passionate about bringing creative writing to the community and celebrating creative writers in our midst. This led her to found the literary page, Valley Muses, in the Stillwater Gazette, and to produce literary readings of authors.


Elissa’s poems range from a “cold parking lot downtown” to “the old undying waves” on the shore of Lake Superior, says Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota poet laureate 2011-2021. “Elissa is moved by the patchwork of the world and how gratefully we wrap ourselves in it!”


“To read [Elissa’s poems] is to fall in love with poetry again,” says poet Katrina Vandenberg.


“Whether exposing or celebrating woven families or her ‘annual blind date with Jesus’ in a poem about Hallelujah Chorus sing-alongs, her attentive voice is just the guide we need to closely observe scenes of life quilted together, says poet KateLynn Hibbard.

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