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

Sunday, October 23, 2011

REMINDER for Our Saint Louis Readers

Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: Reading and Reception Oct 23, 4-6 p.m.

Washington University Libraries and the St. Louis Poetry Center will present a program featuring the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop on Sunday, October 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Wilson Hall, Room 214, on Washington University’s Danforth Campus. A reception will follow in the Ginkgo Reading Room in the nearby Olin Library. Joelle Biele, the editor of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence, published this year, will be joined by Mary Jo Bang, Lorin Cuoco, William Gass, Carl Phillips and Catherine Rankovic in a reading of poems by Elizabeth Bishop and her correspondence with the venerable The New Yorker magazine.

Elizabeth Bishop (1911 – 1979) is acknowledged as one of America’s greatest poets. She graduated from Vassar College in 1934 and published her first book of poetry, North & South, in 1946. Her other books include A Cold Spring, which won the Pulitzer Prize, Questions of Travel, which was awarded the National Book Award, and Geography III, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Bishop published the vast majority of her poems in the pages of The New Yorker. Her relationship with the magazine went back to 1933 and continued until her death in 1979. During forty years of correspondence hundreds of letters passed between Bishop and her editors. Their correspondence provides an unparalleled look into Bishop’s writing process, the relationship between a poet and her editors, the internal workings of The New Yorker, and the process of publishing a poem.

Reader Bios
Mary Jo Bang is a professor of English at Washington University and the author of six books including Apology for Want and Elegy, which won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her most recent book is The Bride of E. Bang is at work on a translation of The Inferno.
Joelle Biele, the editor of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker, is also the author of White Summer. She’s been a Fulbright scholar and has received awards from the Poetry Society of America and the Maryland State Arts Council.
Lorin Cuoco is a consultant for the St. Louis Poetry Center. She is the editor of six books including The Writer in Politics, Dual Muse: The Writer As Artist, the Artist As Writer and Literary St. Louis: A Guide. She founded the International Writers Center at Washington University with William Gass.
William Gass, the David May Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at Washington University, is the author of short stories, novels and essays, which have garnered three National Book Critics Circle Awards. His other awards include the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the first PEN/Nabokov Award and the Truman Capote Award. His books include The Tunnel, Reading Rilke and A Temple of Texts. His latest collection of essays, Life Sentences, will be published in January 2012.
Carl Phillips, a professor of English at Washington University, is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Speak Low and A Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986 – 2006. Other books include a translation of Sophocles’s Philocetes and Coin of the Realm: Essays on Life and the Art of Poetry. His most recent book of poetry is Double Shadow. Among his awards are the Theodore Roethke Memorial Foundation Poetry Award, the Kingsley Tuft Poetry Award and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry.
Catherine Rankovic has taught creative writing since 1989 at Washington University, where she received a Master of Fine Arts in writing. A former full-time journalist, she has published four books including most recently Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis. Her poems and essays have appeared in Boulevard, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review and River Styx. She received the Missouri Biennial Award and Academy of American Poets Award.

Washington University Libraries’ Department of Special Collections has been collecting materials for its Modern Literature Collection since 1964 and now represents more than 175 authors including Samuel Beckett, William Gass, James Merrill, Howard Nemerov, Sylvia Plath, May Swenson and Mona Van Duyn. Of special interest for this program is the correspondence between May Swenson and Elizabeth Bishop, made up of more than 250 letters.

Collaborating with the University Libraries is the St. Louis Poetry Center, still thriving at sixty-five and serving those who love and write poetry. The oldest organization of its kind west of the Mississippi River, the center presents the monthly Poetry at the Point at the Focal Point and Observable Readings at the Schlafly Bottleworks, both in Maplewood. The center also holds monthly workshops at the University City Public Library and sponsors contests and outreach programs in schools and prisons. www.stlouispoetrycenter.org.

WHO: Mary Jo Bang, Joelle Biele, Lorin Cuoco, William Gass, Carl Phillips and Catherine Rankovic
WHAT: Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker reading and reception
WHERE: Wilson Hall 214 (program) and Olin Library (reception)
WU campus map at: parking.wustl.edu/parkingmap_2010.pdf
WHEN: 4:00 – 6: 00 p.m., Sunday, October 23, 2011
SPONSOR: Washington University Libraries (http://library.wustl.edu) and the St. Louis Poetry Center (www.stlouispoetrycenter.org)

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