Elaine Dailey Mattingly was born and raised on the land of the Sauk, Meskwaki, and Ho-Chunk Native Nations—in an idyllic landscape now known by some as Grant Wood Country. She is descended of Irish, German, Czech, Swedish and Austrian immigrants, working class Democrats, Republican farmers, Quakers, Anabaptists, and Methodists. A published poet from Newton, Elaine writes for page, stage and musical projects. She gives presentations, facilitates forums and performs. 

Elaine moved to Chicago briefly, came back to east central Iowa, then settled in Newton, Iowa in 1997. She holds degrees in French Literature and Business from Cornell College with additional coursework from the Universities of Iowa and Iowa State in English and Education. Her poetry is published in the Continental Review (cinepoem), Lyrical Iowa, Wapsipinicon Almanac, Spoilage, 50 Haikus, and University of Iowa’s Daily Palette, and Telebooth Poems Iowa projectThe public education documentary Trees In Any Language (a project of the nonprofit Trees Forever) was nominated for three Iowa Film awards (including Elaine as writer/producer). Elaine also wrote and co-produced Sugar Grove Presents dinner entertainment series in central Iowa from 2005-2010. She received Iowa Arts Council funding to produce a full-length original musical (book/libretto by Elaine; music by her composer/pianist husband John Mattingly). In the early 2000s, she founded the Jasper County Writers and Composers Forum, presented many authors and produced many events as co-operator of Mattingly Music & Books in Newton, Iowa. Recently, she facilitates and presents the Grant Wood Country Writers Forum (more information on the Grant Wood Country tab).

Other experiences include developing training materials for a Fortune 500 company, communications coordinating for a statewide environmental nonprofit, co-operating an independent book and music store, coaching and judging high school speech program, instructing mentally and developmentally challenged children and adults, organizing and producing myriad community-based music and literary events and projects, volunteering as board member and lead organizer for blues festival, volunteering and sitting on board of community theatre as well as arts organization, providing educational services for sheltered and detained youth, teaching private piano lessons, waiting tables, walking beans and mowing lawns. She continues to work, write for page and stage, and enjoys participating in the lively central Iowa poetry and music scenes.