A freelance teacher since 1982, Elena Karina Byrne is a poet, visual artist, book reviewer, editor, and lecturer. She has for 10 years been the Poetry Consultant and Moderator for The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books; she was the Regional Director of the Poetry Society of America for 12 years, as well as the Executive Director for the AVK Arts Foundation. She is currently one of the final judges for the Kate/Kingsley Tufts Award in Poetry, a Contributing Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Literary Programs Director for The Ruskin Art Club. She sits on the advisory boards for What Books and White Pine Press. Elena received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from Beyond Baroque’s Literary Arts Center.
Elena was part of the West Hollywood Book Fair’s Planning Committee and worked with Red Car Studios editing several documentary film projects including, The Big Read, Muse of Fire and Why Shakespeare? Since 1991 Elena has organized or funded programs for the Museum of Contemporary Art, the University of Southern California’s Doheny Memorial Library, the Getty Research Institute at the J. Paul Getty Center, UCLA's CAP/Center for the Art of Performance,Columbia University's School of the Arts International Translation Project, CAFAM's Poetry and Art Collaboration Series, The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Metro Art live Poetry in Motion annual readings, and the renowned Chateau Marmont “Act of the Poet” series. She was the 2005 Poetry Co-Editor for The Los Angeles Review and one of three judges for the 2006 PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry.
Her written book reviews have appeared in Slope, Poetry International and The Journal. Elena's publications, among others, include, 2009 Pushcart Prize XXXIII Best of the Small Presses, Best American Poetry 2005, The Yale Review, The Paris Review, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, TriQuarterly, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Dublin Poetry Review, Levurelitteraire, Painted Bride Quarterly , Barrow Street, Volt, Antioch Review, Massachusetts Review, Verse, The Journal, Hotel Amerika, Pool, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Verse, Drunken Boat, The Offending Adam, Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry, Breathe: 101 Contemporary Odes, Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics From California, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Poetry Daily Anthology, and Spunk and Bite: A Writer's Guide to Punchier, More Engaging Language and Style. Elena's published books of poetry include: THE FLAMMABLE BIRD (Zoo Press/Tupelo Press 2002), MASQUE (Tupelo Press 2008), and SQUANDER (Omnidawn 2016); she just completed her upcoming book of essays, VOYEUR HOUR: Meditations on Poetry, Art and Desire.