For the Love of the Written Word

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:14

    Sparta-Ever since she remembers, Dorota Ellington, who was born and raised in Poland, has a had a passion for two things: writing and traveling. Her fervor for the later eventually brought her to the United States not expecting to fall in love with a man she met in a New York City blues club.  In 1992, she moved to the United States and got married.  She now has two children and has called Sparta home for the past six years. She has held many types of jobs from babysitter, to administrative assistant to translator. However, there has always been that other passion that kept nagging in the back of her mind: writing. Back in Poland, she was involved in the anti-communist independent student movements. It was during this time she published her first essays and articles in ‘underground' magazines such as "Obserwator," and "Muza." However, since moving to the United States, the need for survival kept her creativity blocked. The English language created such an obstacle for Ellington, that she no longer felt comfortable expressing herself through her poetry and writings as she once did in Poland.   "You don't know how difficult it is to transfer yourself from one language to another," said Ellington during a recent interview at her home.  This was a frustrating time for Ellington. To overcome her fear, she enrolled in English Literature studies at Sussex County Community College. She remembers taking English Composition 101 and described it as "terrifying."  "I would sit for hours in front of blank paper and nothing would come to me. I was afraid to make spelling errors. I almost dropped the class," said Ellington.    She eventually got through her first paper and received an A. This one, single grade gave her hope. With this new trace of confidence, Ellington approached the professor for advice on how to overcome her writer's block that she's been plagued with for years. The professor complimented her on her writing and encouraged her to keep plucking along, to keep writing.  He also recommended she apply to Centenary College for her masters degree. It was with his support that she did just that.  It was at Centenary College where she met writer Melissa Montimurro who recognized Ellington's gift for metaphorical language and who encouraged her to write poetry and short stories.   Montimurro gave Ellington the boost she was looking for, to release her creative side and continue her writing.  Ellington will be graduating from Cententary College this summer with her MA in English Literature. In addition, for the first time since living in the United States, two of her poems will be published in magazines.  Her poem, "Knock" will be published in a British poetry magazine called "The First Time" in the fall 2004. Both of her poems, "Cat's Cradle" and "Knock" will be published in an American magazine called "Love's Chance" in the Spring of 2005.