Elizabeth the Poet (date unknown) Photographer: Adnan Shiblaq


Glamorous Liz (date unknown) Courtesy of Salah Shiblaq

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Advertisement for EAJ’s “Rutherford B. Hayes and HIs Adoring Angels,” Fremont, Ohio, August 1981


Cows in Flight: Elizabeth Ann James, Marley Greiner, Fred Andrle, Mike Dittmer, (c 1984). Photographer: Alan Zak



Elizabeth Ann’s cousin Jill Carter Knuth has sent us some early delightful pictures of EA along with descriptions:


She was my oldest cousin. One day when she was probably seven or eight and I was three or four, she gathered us together and read a story to us. I thought how wonderful it was to be able to read. Her interest in the written word was manifested from the very beginning. Here’s Elizabeth Ann at age two or three.



Elizabeth Ann was the oldest of six children, and the oldest of the 20 grandchildren of our Grandmother Carter. Here is Liz as the young matriarch with Grandma and some of the younger grandchildren. Liz grew up in the small town of Fostoria, Ohio, where Grandma lived and where I grew up. Many of her poems relate to the town and the people she knew there.


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As a teen-ager, Elizabeth Ann studied ballet, and taught dance to several young students. Here is a dance recital from 1952, the year before she graduated from high school Throughout her life she had a flair for the dramatic and loved to dress “in character”. She wrote reviews of dance performances and staged poetry readings.



In 1957, Elizabeth Ann married Adnan, and they had two boys, Alexander and Omar. Adnan’s Palestinian roots stimulated Elizabeth Ann’s peace activism

Salah Alexander, Elizabeth Ann, and Omar, (early 1960s)



Elizabeth Ann traveled back and forth to Abu Dhabi during the time Adnan worked there, but she maintained their home in Columbus.

Photo and text courtesy of Jill Carter Knuth.


Elizabeth Ann and I didn’t see each other often after I moved to California, but we collaborated on a few projects: I illustrated “Lena Bernice: Her Christmas in Wood County, 1895” and typeset “Death in Ohio”. The poem “Ivory” inspired a small stitchery. The Bronte quilt poem was a family project. I drew the text on the fabric, our Aunt Dorothy cross-stitched the border, and my mom, Wilda, did the hand quilting.

Photo and text courtesy of Jill Carter Knuth


Elizabeth Ann identified herself as a writer, specifically a poet. Over the years she was involved with — indeed, organized — several small groups of writers and poets. She encouraged, listened, read, and challenged in workshops, poetry readings and other gatherings. Now, when I think back, I realize she had remained the same person who, 70 years ago, gathered us little kids together and read a story to us.

Photo and text courtesy of Jill Carter Knuth

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