Sandra is a poet, novelist, short story writer and lyricist who lives in Ottawa. Her first book of poetry, The Untidy Bride, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award for the best book of poetry published in Canada by a woman. Her second, Woman of Sticks, Woman of Stones, won the Archibald Lampman Award. A poem from that collection also took third prize in the International Stephen Leacock Competition. Sandra has also taught English and Creative Writing, at St Francis Xavier University and the University of Ottawa. She has sat on numerous juries for arts grants and was once the Poet Laureate for the Peter Gzowski Golf Tournament for Literacy.
Working with her husband, guitarist and composer Roddy Ellias, Sandra has written dozens of song lyrics which have been recorded by jazz ensembles like Chelsea Bridge and classical performers such as Julie Nesrallah and Donna Brown. She has just finished her second novel, The Third Road, set in Malaya during the Communist uprising of 1948. Upcoming projects include a book of short stories, a third book of poems, Songs for Invisible Ladies, and the libretto for a chamber opera with puppets, with composer Roddy Ellias. Sandra lives in Ottawa, where she works as a speechwriter for Library and Archives Canada.