Ellen Kaufman earned an A.B. in English and Asian Studies from Cornell University, and M.S.L.S. and M.F.A. degrees from Columbia. Her poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Carolina Quarterly, The New Yorker, Poetry Northwest, Pool, Salamander, Seneca Review, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. She has reviewed poetry for Library Journal since 1991. She was a 2009 MacDowell Colony Fellow and won the Southwest Review's 2012 Morton Marr Poetry Prize. House Music was a finalist for the 2012 Able Muse Book Award.
"I’ve been reading Ellen Kaufman’s poetry for many years now. There’s no other experience quite like it. Her language is taut and her aim unerring: her poems fly straight and true. Part of this has to do with technical mastery. She is a virtuoso of meter and rhyme, and her deep understanding of how structure works in a sonnet or a villanelle, for example, results in poems that combine pattern or repetition with an astonishingly singular vision."
—Jennifer Barber (from the foreword)
"The intelligence behind Ellen Kaufman’s wonderfully realized House Music is poised and observant, its reflections unfolding in sinuous sentences that are effortlessly elegant and deceptively plainspoken. The subjects and themes of her poems are various—the family romance, an encounter with a panhandler, the first moon landing—often taking the form of enigmatic vignettes and fables like 'Sonatina' and 'Thirteenth Night,' pervaded by a sense of the fragile contingency of life. House Music is a brilliant and powerful debut."
Able Muse Press