December 14, 2022 • ISSUE 650
Elaina Whitesell
Poet and Songwriter
“Over time, I noticed that when I encounter tension and stress, I have a deep knowing that it will pass.”
Elaina Whitesell is a poet and musician currently enrolled in MIU’s online low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program. Elaina earned her undergraduate degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University in 2017 and wanted to pursue an MFA degree that would allow her to teach.

In 2019 she saw an ad for MIU’s MFA in Creative Writing program. She liked the idea of Consciousness-Based℠ education and the program’s attention to inclusivity. A year later she applied and began the program in February 2021.
Performing with Magenta Moon
Elaina learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique in Portland, Oregon, during a time of personal challenges, and she soon began to experience more peace and ease with discomfort. “Over time, I noticed that when I encounter tension and stress, I have a deep knowing that it will pass,” she said.

Prior to coming to MIU, Elaina has had her poems published in literary journals, and is now working on a poetry book of her own, while continuing to submit her poems to journals. She has enjoyed mentoring with experienced poets, sharing her work with fellow students, and learning about self-awareness and promoting her work online.
With partner Joey (left) and MIU classmates Antwan Penn and Priya Lin in Los Angeles
“I felt like I was able to write myself out of darkness during the program; it has been great to have our cohort and share our experiences and goals,” she said.

In addition to writing poetry, Elaina has always enjoyed singing and performing. She formed the band Magenta Moon with her partner Joey. They write and record their songs together and also practice TM® together. They recently moved to Los Angeles, started working on their third album, and began playing live events.

Elaina is graduating in spring 2023 and is focusing on finishing her manuscript and building her musical career. “I see the two aspects of my writing, poetry and songwriting, moving together in the future,” she said.
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