Biography

Elizabeth Rhett Woods was born in Prince George, B.C., and grew up in Kamloops and Vernon. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1961, majoring in psychology.

Over the years, she has earned her living through a variety of part-time or temporary jobs, ranging from research assistant in psychology for a company in California; to hot-walking Thoroughbred racehorses at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto; to ‘gofering’ for CBC Television in Montreal during Expo ’67; to Census Commissioner for Statistics Canada in Victoria, with a number of more mundane clerical jobs in between.

Her professional writing debut was a half-hour play, “A Way of Loving”, on CBC Radio’s Introducing, in 1968, followed by other radio plays, including a 90-minute verse drama, Maya (1974), and most recently, “Life and Death Along The Gorge”, on OutFront, in 2000. Her first novel, The Yellow Volkswagen, a cross-country, quasi-erotic saga, was published by Simon & Schuster, Canada, in 1971. A second novel, The Amateur, loosely-based on characters from the TV show The Man from U.N.C.L.E., was published by PaperJack Books in 1980.  Fiddlehead Poetry Books brought out her first book of poetry, Men, in 1979, which was followed by Bird Salad (Moonstone Press, 1990); Family Fictions (Wolsak and Wynn), 2002, and The Absinthe of Desire, in 2004, from Ekstasis Editions, who also published her subsequent books: Beyond the Pale, a novel about limits, temptations, and consequences (2006); 1970: A Novel Poem (2007)–a year-in-the-life-of; Woman Walking: Selected Poems (2009); and her latest novel, Coyote–A Tale of Unexpected Consequences about an intelligent robot coyote who longs to be free (2011).

Her writing has been supported over the years by both the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council, through their grants to writers, and public readings programs.