Wednesday, November 24, 2010

40 after 40: Elizabeth Bachinsky


By the age of 10, Elizabeth Bachinsky had already penned a novel called The Promise, about a Lipizzaner stallion and his girl champion. As a young adult, her love of words took her to University College of the Fraser Valley (now University of the Fraser Valley), where she took courses in Anthropology and Canadian and Russian literature. It was there that an academic advisor gave her a pamphlet for Douglas College detailing its creative writing courses.

“I couldn’t believe you could take classes in something that you were already doing because you loved it,” Elizabeth says. “It was wonderful for me.”

Elizabeth transferred to Douglas and took “pretty much every single creative writing class you could take at the College,” from 1998-1999. From there she went to UBC, where she received both her BFA and MFA in Creative Writing.


Elizabeth has published three books of poetry, Curio (2005), Home of Sudden Service (2006) and God of Missed Connections (2009). She’s been lauded in the Globe and Mail as a “versatile, skilled poet unafraid to shake things up” and in the University of Toronto Quarterly as “an accomplished poet who thinks and feels in the forms she employs.” Her work has been nominated for a plethora of awards including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2006.

Moreover, she’s a Creative Writing Instructor at Douglas as well as Editor of Event Magazine, the Douglas College review of award-winning poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction.

The path to becoming a published writer – and a successful one at that – is not an easy one. Elizabeth credits her instructors at Douglas with helping her get there.

“My instructors were so influential at a time when I was just starting out – they really did change my life," she says. "David Zieroth in particular was a mentor to me. He was no-nonsense, he was just really a generous person and continues to be. He taught me a lot of techniques as a poet and an instructor. I’m just so grateful.”

Learn more about Elizabeth Bachinksy at

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.