Elizabeth Gontijo was born in 1942, in the city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Her debut book, De Cor, was launched in 1991. In the following year, she received the BDMG Cultural Literature Prize for her second book, De Amoras e Outras, in the modality poetry. Afterwards there was also De um Segredo, published in 1999, and Setembros (2004), that got the Brazil/Hispanic America International Literature Prize, by the Academia Feminina Mineira de Letras, in 2007. On the same year, she published her fifth book, A Palma e o Verso, award winner of the Cecília Meireles (Poetry) Prize in 2008.
In 2011, she launched A Beleza dos Restos, the first book to be published also in digital format (e-book) and translated into English by the poetess Rita Espechit.