Author of the Month: Elizabeth Bishop

Our Author of the Month for June is the great American poet Elizabeth Bishop. Born in Massachusetts, Bishop grew up mainly in Nova Scotia, and subsequently travelled widely, to France, Brazil and Key West, almost always choosing to live as close to the ocean as possible. Often deceptively simple on the surface, her poems are in fact hard-worked and hard-working, but by no means hard work. Although regarded as something of a poets’ poet, a few of her works, such as the villanelle ‘One Art’ are among the best known and most widely antholologised poems of the 20th Century. In On Elizabeth Bishop Colm Tóibín writes ‘She shared with Hemingway a fierce simplicity, a use of words in which the emotion seems to be hidden, seems to lurk mysteriously in the space between. The search for pure accuracy in her poems forced Bishop to watch the world helplessly, as though there was nothing she could do.’

Prose: The Centenary Edition

Elizabeth Bishop

From the publisher:

Included here are her stories, crucial memoirs, literary and travel essays, book reviews, and – for the first time – the original draft of Brazil, the Life World Library ...

Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters

Elizabeth Bishop, selected by Robert Giroux and Lloyd Schwartz

From the publisher:

This collection of one of Americas great poets contains all the poetry that Bishop published in her lifetime, an extensive selection of unpublished poems and drafts, and all ...

On Elizabeth Bishop

Colm Tóibín

Matthew Bevis writes:

‘Nobody knows … nobody knows.’ Elizabeth Bishop said her grandmother’s remark was the chorus of her childhood. ‘I often wondered what my grandmother knew that ...

Five Looks at Elizabeth Bishop

Anne Stevenson

From the publisher:

Represents a view of her work Elizabeth Bishop herself would have recognised and approved. A chronology and a set of maps serve as practical guides to the poet’s life and ...

Elizabeth Bishop at Work

Eleanor Cook

From the publisher:

Critics and biographers praise Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry but have little to say about how it does its sublime work in the ear and in the mind’s eye. Eleanor Cook examines ...