Meet the Flock: Elissa Cottle

Name: Elissa Cottle

Role at Red Bird: Poetry Editor

How I became involved with Red Bird and why I agreed to do it:
I’ve known about Red Bird since its inception when I met Dana Hoeschen while earning my MFA at Hamline University, and have admired Red Bird’s enchanting books every since. I have purchased Red Bird chapbooks, and have “taught” Red Bird poems to my creative writing students. I love editing and want to help bring quality poetry books into the world.

Recent Red Bird project(s):
This will be my first!

A little about my own work and what I am currently working on:
I am refining a poetry manuscript, and teaching “Creating a Writing Life” at ArtReach St. Croix in Stillwater. I founded and curate a literary reading series called “When Writing Meets Art,” and the “Valley Muses” quarterly literary page in the Stillwater Gazette.

I’m also a one-woman shop offering writing and editing to small businesses, nonprofits and individuals. My website is

I’m a mother of two wonderful sons.

My favorite thing(s) that can be found in the public domain: - I serve on the board of this nonprofit raising funds to build a performing arts center in Stillwater for plays, film, concerts and, yes, literary readings! - I volunteer at this clinic in St. Paul that offers free or low-cost contraception. I fervently believe all children should be wanted at conception by their parents and gratified to be part of the support system to prevent pregnancy until parents are ready. - My son Lucas and I enjoyed a Mother’s Day gondola ride on the St. Croix River in Stillwater this year. - This is my son Jesse’s site for his beautiful career as an actor and playwright.