Elaine Soto

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Memoir, Poetry



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Elaine Soto is a licensed Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist practicing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She specializes in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing/EMDR, and she is a Certified EMDR Therapist and Approved Consultant. She is also a Facilitator for the Trauma Recovery Network, a humanitarian assistance program for EMDRIA. She worked at the University of New Mexico at CARS, the Employee Assistance program for 6 years, and was in private practice as a Psychologist in New York City for 20 years. She also taught at Blanton Peale Institute for Religion and Health and at Union Theological Seminary in Psychiatry and Religion.

Elaine was an Artist in Residence at Taller Boricua and at El Museo del Barrio where she developed Expressive Art Workshops for parents and children. She is an exhibiting artist, and she was a member of the Remarque Printmaking Workshop until 2018. Her series of Black Madonnas and Earth Mothers have been exhibited in Solo Exhibits at the Taller Boricua Gallery, at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and at the Mesa Public Library Art Gallery and the UNM Valencia Fine Arts Gallery in New Mexico. Also in New Mexico, she had Solo Exhibitions of new work at the Harwood Art Center and at the UNM Faculty Club. She co-curated two exhibits with Regina Corritore. They were “Que Feo” at 105 Gallery, and “Quinto Sol, Sexto Sol” at the South Broadway Cultural Center. She finished a memoir on her search for the Black Madonna in 2020.

The 2010 documentary film on Marion Woodman, Dancing in the Flames, included several of Elaine’s Black Madonna paintings. Dark Mother, African Origins and Godmothers (Authors Choice Press, 2002), by Lucia Birnbaum, mentioned her work and included several of her Black Madonna paintings. And in 2008, Elaine won second place in a SouthWest Writers’ memoir writing contest.


Title: My Journey to the Black Madonna
Published: 2020
Genre: Memoir
This memoir weaves pantoum poems and vignettes about the author’s search for the Black Madonna in Puerto Rico, China, and Spain, Italy and France with stories about growing up Puerto Rican. She became aware of the Black Madonna as a child and it became a metaphor for her search for her father and for a positive identity as a Puerto Rican woman. As she accomplished her goals to become a psychologist and an artist, her unconscious memories of separation and betrayal became more and more conscious. These needed healing. She had visions and dreams of the Black Madonna. According to Jungian Psychologists, one becomes aware of the Black Madonna when dealing with the dark experiences of their lives. Meditation, painting, and writing were some of the tools used by the author to heal herself and to help others to heal. This journey helped her to become whole and to integrate and transform her feelings of pain, grief, and anger into strength and compassion.

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“My Journey to the Black Madonna” ♦ AHA! Hispanic Arts News, 1998
“The English Paper” ♦ Mighty Muse Writing Project/Publication Prize, 2004


“The Juice” ♦ Conceptions Southwest | UNM Literature and Arts Magazine, Nonfiction & Poetry, 2009
“Bella” ♦ Conceptions Southwest | UNM Literature and Arts Magazine, Nonfiction & Poetry, 2010

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