I'm a lifelong New Yorker, born in the Bronx. I grew up in both the Bronx and Rockaway Beach. I lived in Greenwich Village for eighteen years; now I live in Long Beach, in Nassau County. The beach and the Atlantic Ocean are right across the street from where I live. In the winter, the beach is a wonderful place to take my dog for a walk. (What can I say? Your priorities change as time goes on.)

Some info: My first book of poetry, "Armed Love," was published when I was 21. It was nominated for a National Book Award, but when it was reviewed in The New York Times, they suggested that it deserved to a "double X" rating. You have to remember that was 30 years ago, and young women weren't supposed to write books about sex, drugs and rock and roll, which was the subject of the poems in that volume. I spent a brief time as a minor cultural icon that year, which I was not prepared for. If you'd like to read about what being a 21-year-old literary sensation for about five minutes is like, click the link a couple of paragraphs below entitled "One Writer's Life (or, Call Me, Andy Warhol)."

Two years later I published a slightly more muted and melancholy book, "Come the Sweet By and By." It would be twenty-five years until I wrote another book of poetry, "The Mystery of Meteors," which was published by Sarabande Books in 2001; in 2005, Sarabande published my fourth book "Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds." In April 2010, Sarabande published my most recent collection of poetry, "The Sensual World Re-Emerges."

My most recent book of short stories, "The Blonde on the Train and Other Stories," was published by Mayapple Press in 2009. You can find it on their web site,, or order it from to the publishers of both my poetry and short story collections (including an earlier book, "Observers and Other Stories") are on the right and left of this web site. And, as noted above, my novel, Janet Planet--based on the life of Carlos Castaneda--is also available from Mayapple and Amazon.

In 2011, I received a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry,which supported the publication of my latest collection, Strange Life, which is also available from Mayapple and Amazon. And I've got a new novel in the works: dogs, aliens, a late-night radio host and a woman who works in a bar. What's not to love?

Hope you enjoy my work. Here's my e-mail address, so if you want to comment on anything I've written or ask a question, feel free to get in touch: elerman1@​

Thanks for stopping by.

Oh--and p.s. Do you know who the Blonde on the Train is? You may know her as Layla. And I've built "The Blonde" her own web site, so please visit it here