"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia – New Honorary Patron

On 16 June 2012, at its AGM, the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia appointed Wallace “Bud” Bowers as Honorary Patron of the society. Bud was one of Elizabeth Bishop’s maternal first cousins. His appointment came about because of the death of his sister Phyllis Sutherland in October 2011. Phyllis had been the Honorary Patron of the society since its formation in 1994. Bud was also the addressee of Bishop’s poem “For CWB,” written the year of his birth in 1929:
“Let us live where the twilight lives after the dark,
In the deep, drowsy blue, let us make us a home.
Let us meet in the cool evening grass, with a stork
And a whistle of willow, played by a gnome.”

Sadly, Bud Bowers died on 23 July 2012. The EBSNS Board extends deepest sympathy to Bud’s family. He was a wonderful human being with a ready wit, a keen interest in his family’s history and many lively stories to tell. His and Phyllis’s interest in and support of the EBSNS are profoundly appreciated and will be greatly missed.

At the 27 October 2012 EBSNS Board meeting, the members of the board unanimously voted to appoint soprano Suzie LeBlanc as our next Honorary Patron. Suzie’s involvement in the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary is well-known. She has been speaking enthusiastically about Bishop since being hooked four years ago, after a chance visit to Great Village one summer day. In her capacity as co-artistic director of the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Festival, she has been directly supporting the EBSNS for several years. The board unanimously agreed that Suzie is arguably the best Elizabeth Bishop ambassador Nova Scotia has ever had. Suzie kindly accepted this appointment, which happened to come on her birthday. Happy Birthday, Suzie!

We will be posting more updates about the Elizabeth Bishop Legacy Recording, as well as other EB100 legacy projects, in the coming weeks. Do stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Elizabeth Bishop film “First Death in Nova Scotia” Update

Film-maker John Scott reports that his short film based on Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “First Death in Nova Scotia” continues to receive attention and screenings around the world. After a successful screening at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, N.S., in September 2012, John writes that “First Death” played at the Co-Kisser Film Festival (http://www.co-kisser.com/) in Minnesota. It has also screened at Visible Verse Film Festival (http://www.cinematheque.bc.ca/visible-verse-festival-2012) in Vancouver. It will screen in the ZEBRA Film Festival (http://www.zebra-award.org/) in Berlin and will then tour in Lithuania in Tarpfest, as part of the touring section of the ZEBRA festival. John expects the film will be published in an online literary magazine in January 2013. We’ll certainly let you know when that happens. His three short Bishop films (“First Death in Nova Scotia,” “Sandpiper,” and “One Art”) will play in a film series at the Minnesota Public Library in the spring of 2013. Congratulations to John on his the success with these shorts, which are all in advance of a full-length documentary about Bishop on which he is working. John will also begin to shoot an adaptation of Bishop’s poem “In the Waiting Room” in Nova Scotia in January 2013. Stay tuned!

Check out Magpie Productions: http://www.magpieproductions.com/

Check out the “First Death in Nova Scotia” Facebook page:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

33 Years Today

"—the little that we get for free,
the little of our earthly trust. Not much.
About the size of our abidance
along with theirs: the munching cows,
the iris, crisp and shivering, the water
still standing from spring freshets,
the yet-to-be-dismantled elms, the geese."
—Elizabeth Bishop, “Poem”

"Each day with so much ceremony
begins, with birds, with bells,
with whistles from the factories…."
—Elizabeth Bishop, “Anaphora”

Today marks 33 years since Elizabeth Bishop’s death. With so many creative projects happening around the world inspired by and in tribute to Elizabeth Bishop, her legacy is alive and well.

One of the most exciting of these projects is the Elizabeth Bishop Legacy Recording being done in Nova Scotia by Suzie LeBlanc (www.suzieleblanc.com) and her fantastic team of composers and musicians. Music was an abiding love for Bishop, all kinds of music, and to honour her with a CD of glorious settings of her poems (including “Anaphora”), is appropriate indeed. All of the music being recorded was premiered in 2011 during the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Festival in Nova Scotia.

A crowd-source fund-raising campaign is underway to raise money for this independent project. You can find out more, learn about it progress and make a contribution at www.eb100legacyrecording.blogspot.ca. Contributions have come from all over the world and we are deeply grateful for this support.


I am thrilled to tell you about a special fund-raising event for the Nova Scotia Bishop CD, which will happen in Australia! Acclaimed Australian composer Dindy Vaughan will be holding a fund-raiser in Melbourne on Sunday, 28 October 2012. It will be a gathering of singers and musicians from Dindy’s wide circle, who will perform in support of this Bishop project.

Dindy Vaughan

Suzie LeBlanc and Blue Engine String Quartet performed one of Vaughan’s “Sea shells on Bruny” during the final EB100 gala concert on 3 October 2011.

In a recent email, explaining her reasons for offering this amazing support, Dindy wrote: “I am passionate to make things such as this [the CD] happen; women have to work extremely hard to be recognised. Many of the friends I have invited have worked with me for years on different aspects of the women’s movement, and we all care deeply that women’s achievements, such as Elizabeth Bishop’s, are not swept under the carpet. So, the prospect has fallen amongst a very committed gang of Australian friends.”

We are profoundly grateful to Dindy and her friends for this interest and support. It demonstrates the global reach of Elizabeth Bishop’s and Suzie LeBlanc’s art. It is thrilling to imagine these distant friends taking up the cause, raising funds through their own songs.

More about Dindy Vaughan:

“Dindy Vaughan is a composer, environmentalist, organiser, writer and educator. Her music is frequently performed live and has been broadcast on 3MBS FM and the ABC. Happiest in the thick of artistic, intellectual but above all practical, activity, she thrives in social groups where imagination and creativity combine with plenty of grass roots growth in a hurry.

In 1996 Dindy was awarded the prestigious University of Sydney Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service. The award was given for her innovation, stimulation of new ideas and services, creativity, dedication and leadership in the areas of arts and education. She was nominated and selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in the World, Millennium 2000 edition, having demonstrated ‘outstanding achievements in (her own) fields of endeavour… thereby, contributed significantly to the betterment of contemporary society’.” This information has been taken from the following website:  http://www.move.com.au/artist/dindy-vaughan

Check out these websites for even more information about Dindy: