Elina Petrova, an accomplished poet in her native Ukraine, began learning English in her mid-thirties. Among other themes, Desert Candles and her first collection of English-language poetry, Aching Miracle, published in 2015, chronicle Elina’s journey toward a new culture and new language. Though not educated in literature and the language arts in Ukraine — she obtained advanced degrees in heating engineering and worked in engineering management — Elina developed a fondness for creative writing and wrote her Russian-language poetry (outlined in Poetry section) in her hometown of Donetsk, Ukraine.
After she immigrated to the United States in 2007, Elina desired to write poetry for a new, English-speaking, audience. Gradually, her English-language poems began attracting attention. Elina’s poems have been published in Texas Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Porter House Review, Texas Poetry Calendars, FreeFall (Canada), Ocotillo Review, Voices de la Luna, Melancholy Hyperbole, Illya’s Honey, Panoply, Poetry of the American Southwest series by Dos Gatos Press, various anthologies by Mutabilis Press, Echoes of the Cordillera (Sul Ross State University), Selfhood (India), and several anthologies of the Houston, Austin and Waco poetry festivals.
Elina, a frequent Pushcart Prize nominee, won top honors in the 2019 and 2018 Ekphrastic Poetry Contests of the Friendswood Library, and was a finalist for the post of Houston Poet Laureate in 2015. She has been featured in the Huffington Post as one of Houston's important emerging poets (“Five Poets You Need to Know About”) and was appointed Austin International Poetry Fest's Featured Poet in 2019.
Elina now works in a Houston law firm. She became an American citizen in 2014, but remains a citizen of the world.