August 16, 2017
Elizabeth's poem "Homestead" has made the short list for the Montreal International Poetry Prize. It's the second time (2013) her work has made the list that this year had 2,200 submissions from 70 countries. Top 50 poems are on Montreal Poetry Prize (2017) website.
Elizabet Stevens is a story teller, on the printed page, in television and film.
She was born Elizabeth Marie Stevens in Canal/Bonny River, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada. She dropped the "h" from her name when a technician asked if she would drop the "s" from Stevens so it would fit his design for the credits crawl on a movie they were working on. He was joking (sort of); she said "no," but after thinking about it decided she didn't need the "h."
She grew up in Saint John and attended schools there, but wasn't a very good student. Eventually she graduated from Mount Carmel School of Commerce where young women learned to be secretaries and bookkeepers. But secretarial work wasn't of much interest so Elizabet moved to Halifax to work for a psychologist at Dalhousie University.
Accepted at Dalhousie as a mature student she graduated in 1971 with a B.A. degree in Theatre/English. Inspired by the television program This Hour Has Seven Days she got a job at the CBC in Halifax, starting as a clerk, moved on to researcher, script assistant, producer/director, reporter and editor. She was the first woman in the CBC to direct the television news.
Some years later, while working on a documentary for CBC radio about the black community of Africville on the outskirts of Halifax that had been destroyed by the City, a former resident asked if when her story was put on the radio would she get her home back. The answer was a hard reality.
"I couldn't get her home back…although there was a time I thought as a journalist I could change the world. That night an elderly woman, Mrs. Carvery, asked me a question thatbrought my world as I knew it crashing down."
She turned to Arts and Entertainment stories, and was regional correspondent for the Style Section of the Globe and Mail.
She left journalism for Communications work, and was Director of Information and Public Relations at Saint Mary's University for ten years, then Director of Research, and later Communications for the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia in opposition; Vince MacLean was leader.
She set up and raised funds for a literacy network in the Bedford, Nova Scotia area, teaching people to read and write.
She was accepted in the University of New Brunswick's graduate English Creative Writing program, and moved to Fredericton, N.B. in 1996. She received an M.A. in 2000; her thesis "The Fifth of Five" was the first creative non-fiction thesis to be accepted as a Masters thesis.
Writing part time, she took a Teaching job in Beijing, China, and later at Effat College (now University) Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and to Deer Island, N.B., where she taught English as a Second Language to foreign workers.
She continues to tell stories in whatever medium fits: film, television, radio, novels, non-fiction and poetry. Her children's book, Pamela Pollock's Perilous Adventure and how she found the Bluenose was published in June, 2015.
She lives where she started out in the Southern corner of New Brunswick, not far from the U.S. Border, at Calais, Maine. She has a daughter and two grandchildren.