Posts by Elizabeth Ellen

May 21, 2024 | Fiction

AGORAPHOBIA: Summer, 1990 & Winter, 2020

Elizabeth Ellen

It is impossible to determine merely by looking how recently a modern American woman has been vaginally penetrated or rectally sodomized. One can never trust scientific data on matters such as how often a modern American woman is made love to in [enter current year].

March 30, 2024 | Fiction

Winter Haven, Florida, 1984

Elizabeth Ellen

“You don’t want to be a lesbian,” she said. “Trust me. It’s a tough life.”

February 7, 2024 |

MOLLY: a F/NF hybrid

Elizabeth Ellen

The thing was, she was realizing, the polite thing was to hide oneself away from society, as a woman of a certain age, as women of a certain age did in the past – Garbo, most famously. Yes, she would hide herself away (Molly!)

January 24, 2024 |

A Review of By the Sea, or, How to Be An Artist and Female, I.e. How to be Unlikable, or, How to (Not) Pander 

Elizabeth Ellen

And now I am left wondering how The End of the Story might have been different, what more we might have found out, had ‘Vincent’ not been a presence in that flowered armchair, had Lydia not been conscious of him invoking rules: there shouldn’t be any intimate scenes.

December 27, 2023 | Fiction


Elizabeth Ellen

I was in an S &M relationship with myself.

November 21, 2023 | Nonfiction

How I Stopped Loving Dave Eggers and Stole Your MFA

Elizabeth Ellen

One morning on McSweeney’s there was an announcement about a new literary festival in Philadelphia organized by Neal Pollack. It was going to be called the 215 Festival (named after the city’s area code) and would feature readings by Dave and Zadie and Matthew Klam and Neal, as well as other young, McSweeney’s type writers.

November 10, 2023 | Interview

FICTION ISN’T REAL: Elizabeth Ellen Interviews Dennis Cooper

Elizabeth Ellen

“He couldn’t decide if he wanted to draw David, fuck him, beat him up or fall in love with him.”

            -Dennis Cooper, Closer


When I first began earnestly wanting to be a writer,

October 18, 2023 | Poetry

Julia Fox Isn't A Writer & other poems

Elizabeth Ellen

I hadn’t notified Interview magazine abt it
I hadn’t tweeted abt it either
I wasn’t post alt lit
Or a genius

August 11, 2023 | Interview

Nobody Remembers Participating in a Mob: EE interviews Stephen Elliott

Elizabeth Ellen

I did become very close to many people in the McSweeney’s universe. A lot of those people were great, and a lot of them were just ambitious people with no integrity whatsoever.

July 18, 2023 | Interview

Nan Goldin, Depeche Mode, Academic Integrity & Moral Goodness: EE interviews Nazli Koca 

Elizabeth Ellen

I’m interested in these conversations more than anything else, moments in which we care for and about each other in a world that says nothing’s more important than self-care after a productive day at work, where we’re constantly pit against each other, forced to compete with our peers to earn and preserve the right to exist.

July 6, 2023 | Poetry

Poems from Estranged

Elizabeth Ellen

There’s no amount of $$$ you could offer me
            To shut my mouth

April 17, 2023 | Poetry

Chad, the Golfer

Elizabeth Ellen

I had started doing aerobics and running in place in our townhouse living room when Chad was at the golf shop. I’d found a recipe for whole wheat banana bread and I made a loaf every Sunday and every

March 20, 2023 | Sports

MARCH MADNESS, 2019: Author as Capitalistic Commodity

Elizabeth Ellen

Obsession is obsession is obsession, obsession is relatable; I am constantly obsessed with things, more accurately, I am constantly becoming obsessed with people.

February 6, 2023 | Interview

Ask the Duskjacket: an interview with Bruce Wagner

Elizabeth Ellen

Now I don’t care anymore. I’m writing posthumously; I’m invisible now – like an “aging actress”!

November 9, 2022 | Nonfiction

Year of the Buffalo by Aaron Burch: a Review

Elizabeth Ellen

Becca, Ernie’s wife, estranged wife most of the novel until finally she is his ex-wife at the end, based on the author’s, based on Aaron’s, ex-wife, Elizabeth Ellen, who is, oddly, metally, writing these words, typing them into a Word doc at nine in the morning

October 25, 2022 | Nonfiction

Hierarchy of Fear (most fearful to least fearful*) in the Literary World

Elizabeth Ellen

-Editor at a literary journal attempting to be good, moral ppl (see: 1990s Christian Right)

October 13, 2022 | fucked up modern love essays

Letter from the editor

Elizabeth Ellen

I never wanted to run this ship. Frankly, I’d rather spend my time writing.

September 29, 2022 | Interview

Alex Perez on The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, baseball, growing up Cuban-American in Miami & saying goodbye to the literary community

Elizabeth Ellen

What connects people isn’t color or creed or gender or stupid political taxonomies, but the existential despair that comes for us all. How do you respond to that despair once it comes for you? I never feel closer to a person than when they share a piece of their despair with me, and rarely, if ever, does it have anything to do with politics or ideology. It’s always about loneliness or heartbreak or loss, etc. It’s about life. The best art reflects that despair we all face back at us; it doesn’t separate us from other people.

June 26, 2022 | Poetry

My Abortion Poems

Elizabeth Ellen

Remember when Lena Dunham said

She wished she’d had an abortion?

May 3, 2022 | Interview

Gender Roles in Narrative: Shannon McLeod and Elizabeth Ellen talk Ottessa Moshfegh, Mary Gaitskill & Shannon’s novella, Whimsy

Elizabeth Ellen

Whimsy is not as prominently scarred as she imagines herself to be, but this obsession with her face leads her to sabotage her relationships because her insecurity is so destructive.

February 25, 2022 | Interview

We Are All Just Above Ground Pools: Elizabeth Ellen Interviews Sean Thor Conroe

Elizabeth Ellen

I think Westerners, and Americans especially, struggle with “autofiction” since their conceptions of self are so fixed.

January 28, 2022 | Nonfiction

I Love Claire Vaye Watkins But If Two Female Writers Each Choose Darkness Are They Enemies or Friends or Something Other: a review, a love story, a confessional

Elizabeth Ellen

And then there is the question of motherhood. And how it does or doesn’t fit into the feminist narrative, into our ideas of ourselves as liberated women.

May 21, 2021 | Interview

Faded Trilogy of Addict-Liar-Thief: Elizabeth Ellen interviews Elizabeth V. Aldrich

Elizabeth Ellen

I wrote this book manic, in psychosis, in withdrawal, while feeling like I was overdosing,

May 10, 2021 | Fiction


Elizabeth Ellen

“See,” I said. “We’re both nihilists.”

 “I’m not a nihilist,” Matt said. He was at the kitchen sink filling his flask.

April 25, 2021 | Interview

We Are Not Ourselves: Elizabeth Ellen Interviews Noah Cicero

Elizabeth Ellen

I think I give non-important people dignity. I still believe there is magic in this world.

May 27, 2020 | Poetry

Joe Rogan

Elizabeth Ellen

 (Netflix is the opiate of the people!)

May 8, 2020 | Interview

THIS IS THE TITLE OF AN INTERIEW (elixabeth change this lol)

Elizabeth Ellen

i used to write on adderall like a million years ago or when drinking also but thats stopped. like once, last year, i wrote a short story while drinking, and i cant even remember where i saved it so idek if its any good, bc after a while i got distracted and started watching YouTube makeup reviews.

May 6, 2020 | Interview


Elizabeth Ellen

I write about dark things a lot but not without at least some hope…or hope for hope.

May 5, 2020 | Interview

The Ethics of Claimlessness: an interview with Garth Greenwell

Elizabeth Ellen

I wrote for twenty years without anyone paying me or offering me confirmation or telling me that what I wrote would be welcomed by the world. Quite the contrary. 

May 4, 2020 | Interview

WORSTED: Elizabeth Ellen interviews Garielle Lutz

Elizabeth Ellen

"Gary” always felt like a misnomer to me, something I had to put up with to keep the peace.

November 18, 2019 | Interview

Cunt, cunt, cunt: an interview with Laura Theobald and Mikaela Grantham

Elizabeth Ellen

I think they mean they just don't like a woman going around going "cunt cunt cunt."

September 20, 2019 | Interview

‘Getting Cancelled Means You Are Permanently Working Class’: Elizabeth Ellen Interviews Brian Allen Carr

Elizabeth Ellen

When I was younger, if you had a hard time following rules, you became an artist.

Now, if you have a hard time following rules, you become an entrepreneur.

People in the literary world follow rules the most.

August 13, 2019 | Interview

Empathy in the Usual Way: Elizabeth Ellen Interviews Amanda Goldblatt

Elizabeth Ellen

"Honestly, I don't care if language overtakes story." 

May 30, 2019 | Interview

All Narrators Are Unlikeable: Elizabeth Ellen Interviews Mary MIller

Elizabeth Ellen

Maybe ‘white trash American girl’ is a compliment over there?

May 23, 2019 | Interview

Dirtbags Can Write Books: Elizabeth Ellen Interviews Steve Anwyll

Elizabeth Ellen

If you were to sit down and watch an American beer commercial and then a Canadian one, they wouldn't be that different. Replace the eagle with a beaver. 

May 22, 2019 | Interview


Elizabeth Ellen

Trent, and NIN, are way cooler and better. Also Trent is fucking hot.

January 25, 2019 | Interview

Betty Ford Said That Dance Was Her Happiness: an interview with Lisa McCubbin 

Elizabeth Ellen

The great thing about Betty and Rosalynn Carter working together was showing the world how to find common ground even when coming from different political stances. We could use a lot more of that right now.

January 3, 2019 | Nonfiction

References to Alcoholic Drinking in My Grandfather’s WWII Diary

Elizabeth Ellen

June 1, 1944 –  Squadron party. Real whiskey, but didn’t get too hi – just happy. Met a W.A.F. (Women Air Force) & we talked English history.

November 29, 2018 | Poetry

My Old Man Poems (from 'Elizabeth Ellen')

Elizabeth Ellen

I thought Roger Waters was full of shit, I mean

July 11, 2018 | Interview

TONIGHT I’M CHELSEA HODSON: a (follow-up) interview with Chelsea Hodson

Elizabeth Ellen

"I’m always looking for ways to pay more attention. I thought maybe I could be a better writer if I knew what private investigators knew, if I could see a clue for what it was. I’m still learning."  

June 28, 2018 | Nonfiction

Desperately Seeking Whoopi: Whoopi Goldberg, live at the Motorcity Casino, Detroit, Friday, June 15th, 2018

Elizabeth Ellen

Ironically, hours before we went to see Whoopi, I texted two friends from my bathtub that I didn’t think I would ever write another essay. It was “too hard.” “People only want to vilify you, so they look for words to use to that end, and ignore the rest of what you’ve said.”

April 19, 2018 | Poetry

Talk Show Poems & other miscellany

Elizabeth Ellen

Letterman wore khakis and the camera angled up his crotch. I watched every night or set my VCR to record on the rare occasion I left my apartment.

March 13, 2018 | Interview

on obsession, cigarettes, Chanel bar soap, C. E. Morgan and winter precipitation: an interview with Leesa Cross-Smith

Elizabeth Ellen

Kentucky is chill and for the most part, doesn't try to be something it's not. I feel that way abt myself tbh.

March 2, 2018 | Poetry

Chelsea Martin Poems

Elizabeth Ellen

In these poems I am using ‘Chelsea Martin’ as a pseudonym for someone who is not Chelsea Martin.

January 31, 2018 | Fiction

Devils Tower

Elizabeth Ellen

When I stay over at Amelia’s there is a poster of Devils Tower over her bed and we trace the volcanic neck with our fingertips instead of sleeping. I give Amelia a Xanax and floss between each of her teeth.

January 5, 2018 | Poetry

3 Poems

Elizabeth Ellen

I finally tore Bluets in half @ 12:50 a.m.
I had had enough of it, of its blueness…
I had begun to loathe its preciousness, its precision
What it represents -
Its fans, the copycats

December 27, 2017 | Nonfiction

Mesa, Arizona, 1985

Elizabeth Ellen

By the time I arrived at the Phoenix airport the next summer I was thirty pounds heavier. I’d spent the previous nine months eating vending machine moonpies and packaged cookies in my dorm room.

October 31, 2017 | Fiction

Halloween II

Elizabeth Ellen

I smile into the mirror. There is lipstick on my front teeth. I don’t rub it off.

October 30, 2017 | Fiction


Elizabeth Ellen

I have trouble sleeping in open spaces, I tell Saul. There is a blanket on the floor of my closet.

February 24, 2017 | Fiction

Last Days: an excerpt from Person/a

Elizabeth Ellen

I remember Ian saying I was not a novelist and I think, as much as it pained me at the time to hear this, he was correct.

November 28, 2016 | Poetry


Elizabeth Ellen

“I’m just excited that my first time voting in a presidential election was for a woman,” my daughter said

“yeah,” I said

“that’s so exciting,” I said

May 11, 2016 | Interview

Brian Alan Ellis Is Not Brian Allen Carr: an Interview

Elizabeth Ellen

You interviewing me for Hobart is pretty much the peak of my hustle. Maybe this is me selling out. Maybe this is growing up. 

January 15, 2016 | Interview

Elizabeth Ellen interviews Christa Parravani: the Interview That Almost Wasn’t

Elizabeth Ellen

Eventually, I turned to memoir because I wanted to stay in scene. I craved space. I believe in the connection between poetry and memoir. It’s no coincidence that some of our best memoirs have come from poets: Mary Karr, Nick Flynn, Lucy Grealy, Mark Doty, Maggie Nelson, and Sarah Manguso—that list could go on-and-on.

January 15, 2016 | Interview

How to Be a Dutiful Thing: Elizabeth Ellen Interviews Chelsea Hodson

Elizabeth Ellen

According to my parents, I was obedient from birth—I emerged in silence and then slept through the night. I was just never interested in rebelling—even as a “punk,” I got good grades and was always home by curfew.

December 18, 2015 | Poetry

6 Poems

Elizabeth Ellen

Are you Beyoncé? My daughter says.

I am holding a pair of Nike kneepads in my hand.

No, I say.

I am not Beyoncé, I say.

August 28, 2015 | Poetry

These Are Not Poems

Elizabeth Ellen

My new friend interrupted me to say, “You seem like you live like a real artist.”
My new friend had already been twice published by The New Yorker.
I thought maybe she had confused me with herself.

July 24, 2015 | Poetry


Elizabeth Ellen

I hadn’t had any alcohol to drink in forty-two days.
I had told myself I wouldn’t drink for thirty but once you stop doing something it’s hard to start doing it again.

June 26, 2015 | Poetry


Elizabeth Ellen

Tanja and I were competing to see who had moved the most as a child.
“I know of at least fourteen places we lived before I was eighteen,” I said.
Tanja started naming places she had lived. She kept naming her grandma’s house over and over, between every place.

June 19, 2015 | Poetry

Six Poems

Elizabeth Ellen

I can only remember smoking weed with Steve once.
It was either right before or right after I married my daughter’s father.

June 12, 2015 | Poetry

6 Poems

Elizabeth Ellen

“God, dating Drake would be like dating a submissive,” my daughter said.

June 4, 2015 | Poetry

6 Poems

Elizabeth Ellen

Nicki Minaj just said, “all my independent women make some noise.”
I didn’t know if she meant me.

May 28, 2015 | Nonfiction

A Review of Cult of Loretta That Is Also An Essay Addressing the ‘Art vs. The Artist’ Debate (and more!)

Elizabeth Ellen

Another night we got so high I broke into our next-door neighbor’s house and stole their television so we could watch The Simpsons. I asked Loretta where I should put it. She said on top of the TV, which is how we discovered that we already had a TV.

September 5, 2014 | Interview

elizabeth ellen calls aaron burch on all his shit

Elizabeth Ellen

let’s start with my most pressing question, one you haven’t answered IRL: WHY DID YOU TURN DOWN BRAD LISTI?

December 18, 2013 | Nonfiction

Not Another ‘Top Ten’ List: 3 Questions for 3 Authors: Tao Lin, Michael Clune & Scott McClanahan  

Elizabeth Ellen

To be honest, there were other books that had as great an impact on me, but I don’t have access to those authors (Bret Easton Ellis – Lunar Park, Elizabeth Wurtzel – More, Now, Again, W. Somerset Maugham – Of Human Bondage)..

October 9, 2013 | Nonfiction

It Feels Like a Prayer: a review of Hill William by Scott McClanahan

Elizabeth Ellen

I sat and bawled for half an hour after finishing Hill William in one swift read through this morning, beginning to end in an hour. 

June 1, 2013 | Nonfiction

Crib Notes: My Experience Reading Taipei by Tao Lin

Elizabeth Ellen

on page 97, between sections that detail time Paul and Erin spend in Ohio with “Calvin” and “Maggie” (Jordan Castro and Mallory Whitten), I wrote: Manson Family, in large black letters.

December 19, 2012 |

Elizabeth Ellen's "Best Books of 2012"

Elizabeth Ellen

Top Ten of 2012

May 1, 2012 | Interview

Lil Bitch: An Interview With Chelsea Martin

Elizabeth Ellen



Chelsea Martin is easily one of the sweetest persons I know, as well as one of the funniest. She’s so quiet and seemingly unassuming, you don’t see it coming. It sneaks up on you,

June 6, 2011 | Interview

I'm an Asshole and My Life is Retarded: an interview with Julia Wertz by Elizabeth Ellen and her daughter, Andie V.

Elizabeth Ellen and Andie V.


Julia Wertz's first two books are called Fart Party, a great, attention-grabbing title. I remember grabbing the book off the shelf at the comic bookstore, poking my boyfriend and laughing

May 1, 2008 | Interview

An Interview with Donald Ray Pollock

Elizabeth Ellen

It takes a lot to get me to read an entire book. I buy, borrow and steal books by the hundreds, but the actual number I read from beginning to end are very few. In the last seven years, I've

June 1, 2006 | Interview

An Interview with Eric Spitznagel

Elizabeth Ellen

Eric Spitznagel didn't always write porn. (And doesn't, it should be noted, anymore.) In fact, for most of his adult life (we can't answer for his teen years... God only knows what he was doing