Elly Niland is a Poet, Playwright and Teacher.

Elly Niland, poet and playwright.

Elly Niland, poet and playwright.

Her first collection of poetry, In Retrospect, was nominated for Best First Book of Poetry and was runner up for the Guyana Prize for Literature 2004. Her second collection, Cornerstones, won the Guyana Prize for Literature 2006. Her 3rd collection, East of Centre, was funded by the British Arts Council and launched with several of the region’s leading writers at CARIFESTA 2008.

Elly Niland and David Dabydeen dramatised Harold Sonny Ladoo’s short novel, No Pain Like This Body, depicting the terrifying world of a family brutalised by violence, poverty and nature itself. Set in a Hindu Community in the Eastern Caribbean in 1905 during the August rainy season, it centres on a poor rice-growing family’s struggle to survive. No Pain Like this Body was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2003.

The Fog, a story about a sickness spreading across Malaysia, was specially commissioned for the BBC’s Commonwealth Stories season and was read by Liz Sutherland on BBC Radio 4 in 2005.

Elly is currently working on a novel set in a fictional village in Guyana.

  • In Retrospect (Dido Press, 2003)
  • Cornerstones (Dido Press, 2005)
  • East of Centre (Dido Press, 2008)
  • Guyana Classics (Caribbean Press, 2012)

Elly was born in Guyana in 1954, and has lived in Surrey with her husband and children since 1971. After studying as a mature student at Hillcroft College, in Britain, she went on to read for her Modern Arts degree at Kingston University and then to take her PGCE.