Elya Braden was born a poet, singer/actor and artist, but took an 18-year hiatus from her creative life so she could play “Let’s Make A Deal” as a business lawyer and entrepreneur. After serving as General Counsel of a public Internet company in the late ‘90’s, she retired from law at the end of 2000. Elya went on to create a networking group for experienced women lawyers, to launch a new business, and to serve on corporate and non-profit boards. Elya also returned to her passion for singing in jazz clubs, cabarets and musicals, as well as acting in plays, independent films and commercials.
Elya is now a poet and mixed-media artist living in Channel Islands Harbor in Ventura County, CA. She is Assistant Editor of Gyroscope Review. She has been a featured reader at Tasty Words, Library Girl, the Rapp Saloon, Cobalt Poets (on Zoom) and Beatnik Cafe (on Zoom). Her work has been published in Calyx, Prometheus Dreaming, Rattle Poets Respond, Sequestrum, Sheila-Na-Gig Online, The Coachella Review and elsewhere. Her poems have received The Ekphrastic Review's Fantastic Ekphrastic Award, Editor's Choice awards, have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and Best New Poets. Her first chapbook, Open The Fist, was released in 2020 by Finishing Line Press. Her second chapbook, The Sight of Invisible Longing, was a semi-finalist in Finishing Line Press's New Women's Voices Competition and is forthcoming in March 2023.
Following her success publishing her poetry in literary journals and magazines, Elya created and led workshops for other writers on How to Get Published. Elya now leads a nonprofit, HaGomel, (www.hagomel.org) which provides expressive arts programs for women who have experienced sexual trauma to support their emotional and psychological healing.
Photo Credit: Bader Howar Photography