Elijah Imlay


3161 Strathmore Drive
Ventura, CA 93003
(805) 340-1521

Author's Bio

Monsoon Blues, published by Tebot Bach in 2011, is a book of witness drawn from the poet’s experiences as an army bandsman stationed at Camp Eagle, Viet Nam in 1971. The poems proceed chronologically from the time of Imlay’s arrival to the end of his tour of duty. Shifting from lyric to narrative styles, Imlay writes what happens to those around him, showing character development for better or worse and the tribal-like roles the men assumed. His best friend, Bird, who started a rock band that toured fire bases, had served in jungle duty with the First Calvary. Bird, a kind of heroic figure without a formal title, speaks in his own voice in poems which show the perspective of the field in contrast to the rear. Musical themes and metaphors infuse the book with tones and rhythms of the blues, permitting paradoxical elements to coexist, making it difficult at times to differentiate between satire and the broken edges of the human spirit.

Elijah Imlay has conducted writing workshops for veterans of war through Poets @Writers, Inc. and PEN USA and through Tebot Bach. Imlay’s poems have been anthologized in Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace and Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets and in numerous literary journals including War, Literature and the Arts, Many Mountains Moving, and Solo. He has conducted writing workshops for veterans of war through Poets & Writers, Inc. and PEN Center USA and through Tebot Bach. He has master’s degrees in social work and education. Imlay teaches meditation in web courses and other venues for the Institute of Applied Meditation and is on the faculty of IAM-U, the first university to offer a master’s degree in applied meditation. He lives near the ocean in Ventura, CA with his wife, poet Shelley Savren.

Publications & Prizes

Blue Arc West (Tebot Bach, 2006)
Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace (KOA Books, 2006)
Rhythm and Words (Best Press, 2004)
Moon Won't Leave Me Alone (California Poets in the Schools, 2003)
A Flame of Words (California Poets in the Schools, 1999)
Touched by Adoption (Green River Press, 1999)
Prizes won: 

Imlay is the recipient of three Artist Fellowship Awards from the City of Ventura, CA, has won honorable mentions for the 2006 Ruskin Art Club/Red Hen Press Award, the 2004 Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize, and the 2002 Ann Stanford Poetry Prize and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Hungarian American, Scotch-Irish American
Prefers to work with: 
Any, Veterans
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Takoma Park
Raised in: 
Silver Spring, MD
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Jan 14, 2012