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

Thursday, September 22, 2011

“Home of the Long Tides”: The Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Closing Celebrations – Part Three

The third event for the EB100 finale is “I am in need of music”: A Tribute to Elizabeth Bishop, Sunday, 2 October 2011, 3:00 p.m., St. James United Church, Great Village, N.S.

Suzie LeBlanc – soprano
Jocelyne Fleury – mezzo-soprano
Blue Engine String Quartet
John Plant – pianist
Harry Thurston – poet

An Elizabeth Bishop tribute, with an eclectic programme of new Elizabeth Bishop works, contemporary and classical repertoire presented by some of Nova Scotia’s most accomplished artists – with a multi-media twist!

World premiere performances of two settings of Elizabeth Bishop poems, "Sunday 4 A.M." and "In the Middle of the Road," by Canadian composer John Plant. A Canadian premiere of “I am in Need of Music” by American composer Ben Moore.

World Premier of "Sandpiper" (video) produced by Pink Dog Productions of Halifax, N.S.

Music by Rebecca Clarke, Alasdair MacLean, Fanny Mendelssohn, Astor Piazola, Robert Schumann, Dindy Vaughan and Kurt Weill performed by Suzie LeBlanc, Jocelyne Fleury, John Plant and Blue Engine String Quartet.

Readings of Elizabeth Bishop poems by poet and naturalist Harry Thurston.

Tickets can be purchased online at the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia website, at the Masstown Market and Great Village Antiques, or reserved with Sandra Barry at slbarry@ns.sympatico.ca.

A Gallery of the Artists

Suzie LeBlanc

Jocelyne Fleury

Blue Engine String Quartet

John Plant

Harry Thurston

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

“Home of the Long Tides”: The Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Closing Celebrations – Part Two

The second event for the EB100 finale is “The Moose” Route: A guided bus tour of the Bay of Fundy. This trip takes place on Saturday 1 October 2011. It leaves from the Great Village School at 10:00 a.m. and returns there around 6:00 p.m.

This tour has been inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s beloved poem “The Moose,” which describes a bus ride along the Fundy shore, on her way back to Boston. It travels through the heart of Elizabeth Bishop’s childhood home.

Not sure we'll see any moose, but we'll be looking!

This tour covers lots of ground: Elizabeth Bishop and her art, life and the memory of it; geology, geography and landscape; fabulous cuisine; tide and tidal life; sailing ships and history. With the narration, knowledge and insights of our expert guide: poet and naturalist Harry Thurston. Find out more information about Harry in the post below, especially about the publication of his new book: The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History.

Harry Thurston on the Bay

A comfortable deluxe touring coach is being supplied by Perry Rand/The Bus Boys, from Cambridge, N.S. (http://www.thebusboys.com/) in a comfortable deluxe touring coach.

We will be stopping for lunch at Wild Caraway, an exciting new restaurant in Advocate, N.S. (http://wildcaraway.com)

The cost of this tour is $45, which includes lunch. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Sandra Barry slbarry@ns.sympatico.ca

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

“Home of the Long Tides”: The Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Closing Celebrations -- Part One

The first event for the EB100 finale, is “Tidal Life”: An Illustrated Talk about the Bay of Fundy, by poet and naturalist Harry Thurston. This event takes place at Alumni Theatre, Cumming Hall, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro, N.S., on Friday, 30 September 2011, at 7:00 p.m. There is no admission fee.

A native of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Harry Thurston is the author of twenty books of poetry and non-fiction. Tidal Life, A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy is in print two decades after it was first published. It was the recipient of the Evelyn Richardson Prize for non-fiction. A Place Between The Tides, A Naturalist’s Reflections on the Salt Marsh, was given the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award for 2005 in the United States. His New and Selected Poems, Animals Of My Own Kind, appeared from Vehicule Press (Montreal) in 2009. His most recent book is just out -- see the description below!! He is currently working on a memoir about trout fishing with his father.

Harry was involved in a recent CBC TV Land & Sea documentary about the Bay of Fundy, which you can see at this link:

The Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) is a specialized university providing technical, undergraduate and graduate education in agriculture and its related disciplines. NSAC’s high quality research and scholarship generates knowledge and solutions for healthy, sustainable societies. Diverse teaching, outreach and international activities help train future leaders for rural industries and communities in Atlantic Canada and around the world.

We are delighted that NSAC is hosting this event, because of its important place in scientific research in Nova Scotia, and its prominent education and economic role in Colchester County.

Hot off the press!
The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History
Harry Thurston’s new book, from Greystone Books
in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation.

We are all the more thrilled to have Harry be such a central part of the EB100 closing celebrations with the news of the publication of this new contribution to Canada’s nature and natural history canon.

An authoritative and fascinating exploration of the natural history of the east coast of North America.

The North Atlantic coast of North America—commonly known as the Atlantic Coast—extends from Newfoundland and Labrador through the Maritime Provinces and the Northeastern United States south to Cape Hatteras. This North Atlantic region belongs to the sea. The maritime influence on climate, flora, and fauna is dominant—even far inland. This is where the great northern boreal forests intermingle with the mixed coniferous-hardwood forests farther south and where the cold, iceberg-studded Labrador Current from the Arctic and the warm Gulf Stream of the tropics vie for supremacy.

Filled with stunning photographs, the book includes chapters on the geological origins of this region, the two major forest realms, and the main freshwater and marine ecosystems and also describes the flora and fauna within each of these habitats. Finally, it looks at what has been lost but also what remains of the natural heritage of the region and how that might be conserved in future.
Written by the Atlantic region’s best-known nature writer, The Atlantic Coast draws upon the most up-to-date science on the ecology of the region as well as the author’s lifetime experience as a biologist and naturalist. It is both a personal tribute and an accessible, comprehensive guide to an intriguing ecosystem.

October 2011
ISBN 978-1-55365-446-9
7 1/2" x 10"
336 pages
25 b&w illustrations, 120 colour photographs
Nature / Natural History
$45.00 CAD


Parts Two and Three of "Home of the Long Tides": The Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Closing Celebrations will be posted in this week. Stay tuned! For more information go to the EBSNS website.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Celebrations – A few reflections

As the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary comes to a close (hard to believe the autumnal equinox is almost here!), over the next weeks and months, we will be reflecting on the many celebrations, and gradually putting up material (particularly video) that has been created during the year. John has been our trusty videographer, and has accumulated a lot of footage, which he has already started to post on the blog and on our YouTube channel. An example of this is below – the video of our July reading of “These Fine Mornings” – Joelle Biele’s adaptation of the Elizabeth Bishop/New Yorker correspondence. Joelle herself has posted an audio-only recording of that reading on her website: www.joellebiele.com.

What I want to say about that reading, that event, was that it was great fun for me – and I think my fellow readers (John, Suzie LeBlanc and Harry Thurston) had fun, too. We had virtually no rehearsal (just one quick read through a few days beforehand), so it was a spontaneous effort, more or less – but the letters are incredibly lively and funny, the editorial process they describes so revealing, that it was a real pleasure and privilege to be part of it. I hope you can see how much fun we and the audience are having. To be able to do the reading in the sanctuary of St. James United Church in Great Village, the “high-shouldered and secretive” church that loomed over Bishop’s childhood, was also a privilege.

The biggest EB100 event in Nova Scotia (bigger even than the wonderful symposium in June) was the EB100 Arts Festival in August. John has already started to post some video of it on the YouTube Channel, and there is more to come. All of this takes time, of course – but we have lots of interesting material to share.

The Arts Festival was a roaring success and we will be seeing the impact of it in Nova Scotia for some time to come. Congratulations must go out to Joy Laking and Laurie Gunn and the Arts Festival Committee – all their hard work paid off wonderfully.

While the festival was the biggest event, it was not the last event. We are planning an official finale to the EB100 celebrations, to take place from 30 September to 2 October: “Home of the Long Tides”: The Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Closing Celebrations. You can find all the information about this event on the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia website: www.elizabethbishopns.org – and over then next few days, I will be posting information about each of the activities taking place during that weekend. We chose this time because it is near the anniversary of Elizabeth Bishop’s death, 6 October. As we began at the time of her birth, 8 February, we thought it appropriate to culminate our activities in early October.

While “Home of the Long Tides” is the big finale for the EBSNS, it is not the final event of the EB100 year – and we will continue to let you know about events and activities being planned. There will also be legacy projects emerging from EB100, for example, we will be publishing the winners of the Writing Competition, and, again, we will let you know about these projects as they unfold.


Photograph by Laurie Gunn

This afternoon (Sunday, 18 September 2011) at 2:00 p.m. Sandra Barry will present "Contemplating Elizabeth Bishop's 'One Art'" at ViewPoint Gallery, 1272 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her talk is part of the photography exhibit One Art: Responses to "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

“These Fine Mornings: Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker”

These Fine Mornings is a one-act play by Joelle Biele, editor of Elizabeth Bishop and the New Yorker: the Complete Correspondence. It tells the story of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker using excerpts from letters between Bishop and editors Charles Pearce, Katharine White, and Howard Moss. Woven between their correspondence are letters Bishop wrote to friends, internal magazine documents, poems, and questions and answers that appear on proofs. Actors do more than one voice.

The play was first read at the University of Chicago's International House and hosted by the Program in Poetry and Poetics and the Poetry Foundation. Directed by Bernard Sahlins, it featured Linda Kimbrough as Elizabeth Bishop, Bruce Jarchow as the narrator, Suzanne Petri as Katharine White, and Tim Kazurinsky as Charles Pearce and Howard Moss.

These Fine Mornings is being read by contemporary poets at a number of venues as part of the celebration of the centenary of Bishop's birth. Here is a link to an audio recording of the Great Village performance in July:

And here is a video recording:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011



International ConferenceCongresso Internacional



November 9-12, 2011

Ouro Preto/Mariana

Minas Gerais, Brazil

In 2011, the birth centenary of Elizabeth Bishop is celebrated in many countries through recitals, poetry readings, academic meetings and other events. Her life and poetry are particularly related to three countries: the United States, Canada, and Brazil. In Brazil, besides the centenary, there is an additional reason to make this event significant: sixty years of the poet’s arrival in the country, an opportune occasion for re-readings of her work. Such re-readings will enable us to evaluate the poet’s relation with Brazil expressed in her poetry, prose, and vast correspondence.

The International Conference “DAZZLING DIALECTIC: BRAZIL IN THE EYES OF ELIZABETH BISHOP” has the purpose of gathering scholars interested in Elizabeth Bishop’s work. The event, which includes lectures, round-tables, panels, and readings has the intent to discuss the writer’s work, as well as its relevance in Brazil and abroad.

The event will address the following themes related to the author:

  • Her poetic work and correspondence;
  • Her work as translator;
  • Translations of her work;
  • Historical and biographical issues related to her life and work;
  • Her interactions with Brazilian, American and Canadian Modernists;
  • Gender issues: the poet and her contemporaries;
  • Brazil in her work;
  • Bishop and other travelers in Brazil.


  • University professors, scholars and graduate students (MA and doctoral programs) can apply to present papers in panel sessions.
  • Undergraduate students can apply to present posters.
  • Deadline for submission and application fee payment: October 9th.

To submit your proposal:

1. Send an abstract of your paper or poster (maximum 200 words), in Portuguese or English, including information about your institutional affiliation, area of interest, address, telephone, and e-mail to congressobishop@gmail.com.

2. Make the deposit at Banco do Brasil, branch 3610-2, account # 51437-3, and send a copy of the receipt by e-mail tocongressobishop@gmail.com. For international participants, payment is due on the first day of the event.

Registration fees:

1. Participation with presentation of papers or posters

Categories Up to 09/25 Up to 10/09
University Professors and scholars R$80,00 R$120,00
Graduate Students R$40,00 R$60,00
Undergraduate Students R$20,00 R$30,00

2. Participation without presentation of papers or posters

Categories Up to 09/25 Up to 10/09
University Professors and scholars R$40,00 R$60,00
Graduate Students R$20,00 R$30,00
Undergraduate Students R$10,00 R$10,00

Certificates may only be issued upon payment of registration fee.

Information: congressobishop@gmail.com


Organização/Organization committee:

Maria Clara Versiani Galery (UFOP)

Sandra Regina Goulart Almeida (UFMG)

Guiomar de Grammont (UFOP)

Elzira Divina Perpétua (UFOP)

Maria Clara Bonetti Paro (UNESP- Araraquara)

Maria Lúcia Milléo Martins (UFSC)

Regina Przybycien (UFPR/Universidade Jaguielônica de Cracóvia)

Ricardo Sternberg (University of Toronto)

Realização/Promoting institutions:

Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais


Programa de Pós-Graduação em Letras: Estudos da Linguagem (UFOP)

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Letras: Estudos Literários (UFMG)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our São Paulo Correspondent Writes --

Um Porto Para Elizabeth Bishop -- A Safe Harbour for Elizabeth Bishop

Em dezembro de 1951, uma poetisa norte-americana genial e deprimida desembarcou de um cargueiro no porto de Santos para uma breve escala turística e viveu no Brasil uma aventura pessoal que durou 15 anos. Esta peça é o encontro entre essa poetisa e o Brasil exuberante e inquieto dos anos 1950 e 1960.

[In December, 1951, a great but discouraged American poet disembarked from a cargo ship at the port of Santos for a brief tourist stopover, and then lived a personal adventure in Brazil that lasted 15 years. This play is about the encounter between the poet and Brazil in the exuberant and troubled years of the 1950s and 1960s.]

Playwright: Marta Góes.
Director: José Possi Neto.
Starring Regina Braga.
October 22-23 (Saturday and Sunday), 8:00 p.m. (No Teatro)
SESC Santo André
Rua Tamarutaca, 302 (Santo André)
Tel: (11) 4469-1200
The play runs for 80 minutes
Box Office prices: from R$ 5,00 to R$ 20,00
(Tickets available on the network INGRESSOSESC beginning September 30 at 2:00 p.m.)

Our Denver Correspondent Writes --

Two-weekend Lighthouse Writers Intensive Workshop: Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Seeing

No poet has a finer eye than Elizabeth Bishop. The depth and precision of her seeing, and the extraordinary richness of her descriptions, are unsurpassed in American poetry. In this two-weekend reading-as-a-writer course, we’ll study what makes Bishop’s visual perception so remarkable, and we’ll explore ways to bring that level of seeing into our own work. Students will be asked to write one poem in response to Bishop's work and to memorize one Bishop poem. Our text will be the recently released POEMS.

This class is open to writers of all genres.

It will meet on two consecutive weekends:
December 3, 4, 10, and 11, from 1 to 4 PM.

Instructor: John Brehm, MFA
Starts: 12/03/2011
Time(s): 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Cost: $285.00 members / $315.00 non-members
Location: Lighthouse Attic - Attic (3rd Floor)
1515 Race Street, Denver, CO 80218

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Great Village Welcomes the World at the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Arts Festival

From 19 to 21 August 2011, Great Village, N.S., was a bee hive of activity. Hundreds of people flocked to the village to be part of the EB100 Arts Festival. People from the community and along the Fundy Shore, from all over Nova Scotia, from many parts of Canada and throughout the United States, and from the far corners of the world – from Australia to Brazil to Ireland – converged in the village for a big birthday party. Everyone gathered for one reason: to celebrate the life, art and 100th birthday of Elizabeth Bishop. A truly festive atmosphere, helped by the great weather, reigned supreme for three days.

Traffic jams in Great Village during the festival. Photograph by Grant Dickie of Great Village Antiques.

To try to account for all the bustle and fun would take many posts. John has begun to put up some video that he shot during those days – over time, more of it will appear, giving a glimpse of some of what happened. I have wanted to write something ever since the festival ended, but as soon as it was over, I went immediately into planning for the next EB100 events (one of which is already underway: the ViewPoint Gallery “One Art” exhibition, information about which has already been posted). We are planning a big EB100 finale, which will take place from 30 September to 2 October, which is fast approaching! Information about it will be posted very soon.

I do want to reflect a little, though, on those three days in August, when the world arrived at the doorstep of Great Village, gathered because of a curiosity about, keen interest in or utter devotion to Elizabeth Bishop. I want to thank the EBSNS and the Fundy Shore communities for embracing the festival so wholeheartedly. The main organizers of the event, Joy Laking and Laurie Gunn, brought together a phenomenal group of volunteers. They all deserve a standing ovation for their hard work and their lively, warm hospitality. I want to thank all the artists (authors, musicians, actors, painters, film-makers) who participated in a myriad of ways. Their creative energy and their amazing artistry were tremendous tributes to and honourings of Bishop. I want to thank the over 70 English as a second language summer school students from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, N.S., who came out to help build cardboard boats and float them in Logan Spencer’s pond. What a parade they made through the village carrying their boats and flags. I want to thank the Great Village Farmers Market for adding that truly “home-made” touch to Saturday.

Building the cardboard boats on the lawn of St. James United Church. Photo by Grant Dickie of Great Village Antiques

Without a doubt, the most popular activity (which is saying a great deal because every event or activity was fully attended) was the horse and wagon rides, up and down Scrabble Hill Road. Gordon Lewis, who represented “Pa” (Bishop’s maternal grandfather William Bulmer, think of the poem “Manners”), and Beth Terry who portrayed Elizabeth Bishop and provided a lively, lovely reminiscence of the village during the rides, deserve our heartfelt gratitude. There was also a delightful “Little Miss Elizabeth Bishop” at home in her grandparents’ house, portrayed by April Sharpe, with her mother Patti as “Gammie,” Bishop’s maternal grandmother. A costumed Dick Akerman offered historic walking tours, giving all who walked with him a deep understanding of the fascinating past of the village. Everyone entered into the spirit of that long ago time, but most of all they warmly welcomed the hundreds of people who rode the wagon, visited the house or wandered the village.

The workshops, author readings, village tours and concerts; the community lunch, supper, tea and receptions; the old-time church service; the wagon, boats, costumes, books, banners, baskets; the paintings and films were the trigger for all sorts of wonderful connections between and among people – everyone who came had one thing in common: Elizabeth Bishop – and she brought about connection with people from near and far. Bishop the world traveler who had an abiding tie with her family, her village and Nova Scotia was the catalyst for all manner of new connections, which will continue for years to come. Great Village was the site of this energized activity for three wonderful days in August 2011.

P.S. It is also important to thank our funders for their support. It was heartening to have funding from three levels of government: Canadian Heritage; the Province of Nova Scotia through Communities, Culture and Heritage, as well as Economic and Rural Development and Tourism; and the Municipality of Colchester, as well as the Colchester Regional Development Agency. Local businesses donated: Masstown Market, Oxford Frozen Foods, Wilson’s Fuel, Lowland Gardens. The Robert Pope Foundation, the Charles and Mary MacLennan Foundation, the Fundy Foundation. Individuals: Joy Laking, Suzie LeBlanc, Randall Sargent, Dick Lemon. If I have forgotten anyone, it is unintnentional. Our gratitude for all support is immense.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our London Correspondent Writes --


Elizabeth Bishop: dwelling without roots

Tom Paulin
Chaired by Fiona Sampson

Monday, 17 October 2011, 7 p.m.

Since her death in 1979, the reputation of Elizabeth Bishop has grown to the point that she is now regarded as one of the most important American poets of the twentieth century. Her small body of work (she published only 101 poems during her lifetime) is distinguished by its precise description of the physical world, by grief, and by the struggle to find a sense of belonging. During her early childhood her mother was committed to an asylum, and she grew up first with grandparents and then with an aunt – ‘I was always sort of a guest,’ she wrote, ‘and I think I’ve always felt like that.’ In a talk chaired by fellow poet Fiona Sampson, poet, critic and playwright Tom Paulin, who has written extensively on Bishop, marks the centenary of her birth by exploring her genius.

We are grateful to the Royal Literary Fund for sponsoring this lecture.

Venue: Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House.

Fellows and Members: book your seats online or by ringing Hazel on 020 7845 4676. Seats for guests (one per meeting) must also be booked in advance.

A limited number of tickets will be sold on the door, from 6pm, on a first come, first served basis (£8/£5 conc)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our Texas Correspondent Writes --


by michele_miller

Please join us on September 22 for this special event to celebrate the 100th birthday of Elizabeth Bishop, U.S. Poet Laureate from 1949 to 1950, and winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book award. Join the English department’s MFA students and faculty as they read selections from Bishop’s work and share what her poetry means to them.

The Wittliff Collections
The Alkek Library, 7th Floor
Texas State University
601 University Drive,
San Marcos, TX 78666
visit web site
call 512-245-2313