Ellen Austin-Li was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. She received her BS in Nursing at Boston College in 1980, then lived and worked in Boston as a pediatric critical care nurse for eighteen years. She moved to Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, where they started a family. After raising her two sons, Ellen decided to take a class at Women Writing for a Change. There she discovered her passion for words.
Ellen writes poetry, memoir, and creative non-fiction. She has participated in numerous writing workshops in the Cincinnati area, including ongoing poetry workshops facilitated by Pauletta Hansel (Cincinnati’s first poet laureate). She has attended several workshops at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Ellen is an award-winning poet, published in Artemis, Amethyst Review, Writers Tribe Review, the Maine Review, Mothers Always Write, MemoirMixtapes, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, and For a Better World (2013-2108), among other places. Her first chapbook, Firefly, was published by Finishing Line Press in May 2019. A recipient of the Martin B. Bernstein Fellowship for Poetry, Ellen began the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program in January, 2020.