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

Monday, February 13, 2012

Elizabeth Bishop birthday party, Halifax, N.S., 12 February 2012

On Sunday afternoon, 12 February 2012, a gathering of enthusiastic Elizabeth Bishop fans gathered at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia to celebrate EB’s 101st birthday (her actual birthday is 8 February). In spite of rather unpleasant wintry weather, the atmosphere was warm and convivial. There was the usual wonderful readings by a diverse group of artists, a toast to Miss Bishop and a hearty chorus of “Happy Birthday” lead by our stalwart and melodious John Barnstead, the cutting of the cake and the doling out of door prizes. I was completely surprised by a wonderful and generous gesture of thanks for my small role in instigating and guiding EB100 from the assembled group (along with many who were not able to attend), for which I am profoundly grateful. There was much reflecting on the exciting EB100 celebrations which are still being talked about in Nova Scotia. Many of those present were directly involved in that year of creative tribute to our beloved poet. Thanks to all who braved the city’s icy streets and sidewalks to be part of what is now an ongoing tradition of honouring Elizabeth Bishop’s natal day. Here are a few images from that gathering, courtesy of Susan Kerslake.

The attentive audience

The wonderful readers

Suzie LeBlanc and Jasmine Pannozzo Oddy

The door prizes

Raising our "glasses" in a toast to Miss Bishop

Carol Bruneau, official (and expert) cake cutter

Evidence of indulgence!

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