Elizabeth Marraffino-Rees Biography

Acts of Art

Richard Rees

A visual artist, art teacher, poet and writer, mainly of young adult and middle-grade fiction, Elizabeth (Liz) Marraffino-Rees (E. M. Rees) believes life is an act of art.

In the field of visual arts, Liz is primarily a painter, working in oil and watercolor; in addition she creates sculptural vessels and masks made of clay.

After training under the figurative expressionist painter Allen Hart, Liz began to exhibit her own paintings and sculpture. Her most recent one-person show was at the New York Theological Seminary in Manhattan. She has also shown at The Broome Street Gallery in Soho, The Elsa Mott Ives Gallery, The Cabrini Gallery in Dobbs Ferry, New York, The Gallery at the Visual Studies Center, in Greenwich Village, Aquasource, Barnes and Noble at Citicorp, the Multi-Media Arts Gallery, and various Greenwich Village and Tribeca restaurants.

She currently teaches painting classes and workshops at The Crafts Student's League of the YWCA on 53rd Street in New York City.

Liz has also authored more than fifty young adult and middle grade novels, including many in popular pseudonymous series. Her own fiction includes How to Kiss a Guy, the 12-book original series Satin Slippers (both under the pseudonym Elizabeth Bernard); Plainsong for Caitlin, an historical novel, and the six- book original series Heartbeats. Recently her essay about writing for young adults, "All My Kids", appeared in a collection of writings about women and childlessness entitled Bearing Life: Women's Writing on Childlessness.

Her first attempts at writing fiction came at the age of seven when she tried to write her own version of The Bobbsey Twins--changing the twin motif to triplets, as she sat in the back of the family car on a trip from rural Pennsylvania to her home in New York City.

From around the age of 10 she wrote poetry, and instead of doing homework lost herself in hours of reading the old great classic poets such as Keats, Milton, Byron and Wordsworth at her desk in the dining room after dinner.

Her poetry has been published widely in little magazines and anthologies, including The Nation and The Dream Book: An Anthology of Italian-American Women Writers. A full length book of her poetry, Blue Moon for Ruby Tuesday, has been published by Contact II publications.

Her life-long love of dance has naturally evolved into a passion for Argentine Tango, which she dances whenever and wherever she can.