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

Friday, October 18, 2013


In June 2013, the EBSNS launched Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop: The Elizabeth Bishop Centenary (2011) Writing Competition. The editors have asked a some of our readers to provide a comment, a personal response, to the collection. We will post them over the next few weeks. We hope these readers’ responses will tempt you to buy a copy for your own library. It also makes a wonderful Christmas gift!

You find out more about Echoes on the EBSNS website:

You can purchase online at: http://www.elizabethbishopns.org/publications.html or at Bookmark, on Spring Garden Road in Halifax, N.S.

{Note: The Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia will be selling copies of ECHOES at the Great Village Christmas Craft Fair on 2 November and at the Truro Farmers' Market on 16 November.}

 Image by Teresa Alexander Arab
Response by Star Coulbrooke

In a recent letter, Utah writer Star Coulbrooke wrote about reading Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop. She has kindly given permission for us to excerpt part of that letter to post as her “comment.”

Star wrote, “I have just finished reading, in Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop, the Mary Verna Feehan essay. What an amazing talent for creating emotional realms of a child’s world — I felt as if I were travelling inside the girl who was sensing the adult surrounding of her previously insular and sheltered life, who was feeling their sympathy and concern, with the limited knowledge of worldly behavior, just her child’s perceptions, dreamlike and trusting. A lovely, simple piece with deep layers of insight. I am glad to have a few minutes this morning to delve into the book again …. I finished Echoes last Saturday and wrote about the Anne Pollett piece in my journal, about her mother being “unshakably positive” and always believing in the goodness of others. It was as if she were my sister, because she described my mother’s traits. Mine died in 1999, at 88, having never said a negative thing about anyone she ever met. She lived through the Depression too, as Anne Pollett’s mother did, and was always grateful for the most basic amenities. I believe she instilled that kind of gratitude in me as well, because I have always deeply appreciated the basic comforts of my own fortunate life.”


Star Coulbrooke is responsible for Helicon West, a bi-monthly open readings/featured readers series in Logan, Utah. Her poems appear in journals such as Poetry International, Redactions: Poetry and Poetics, and Sugar House Review. Her most recent poetry collection, Walking the Bear, published by Outlaw Artists Press, is a tribute to the Bear River. Star directs the Utah State University Writing Center.

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