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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

It is hard to believe another year has rolled around and we are approaching another Elizabeth Bishop birthday celebration. As we have been doing in Nova Scotia for the past seven or eight years (we have lost count), the co-owners of the Elizabeth Bishop House host a birthday celebration and fund-raiser in Halifax. All the particulars are found below and we hope to see you there. We have a great line up of readers, lots of fun door prizes, good munchies and, of course, BIRTHDAY CAKE!! -- and, as always, wonderful energy. Costumes are welcome, but not necessary, but there is a prize for best costume. Hope to see you there.

Last year's cake!

 ♥♥♥    102nd Birthday Party!    ♥♥♥

Celebrate Elizabeth Bishop’s Birthday
Date: Sunday, 10 February 2013
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Place: Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road (behind Garrison Beer, just up from Pier 21)

Free! Everyone Welcome!

 Help Heat Her Home
(a fund-raiser for the Elizabeth Bishop House Artists’ Retreat)

Come as your favourite Bishop character or creature, or just come as What You Will. Don’t let Manners inhibit you. Come as The Man-Moth or The Moose. Have The Wit to be The Fish or The Armadillo. You might need The Patience of an Angel to be The Unbeliever or The Prodigal, but please, come flying!!

Don’t wait for The End of March or A Cold Spring. Dispel the mid-winter blues! Come for the readings, come for the birthday cake, come for the prizes (best costume is a weekend at the EB House!!). Who knows, you might end up Exchanging Hats!!!

The Colder the Air the warmer the welcome!

Readers include: John Barnstead, Valerie Compton, Sarah Emsley, Heather Jessup, Scott MacDougall, Jill MacLean, Alex E. Pierce, Mary Ellen Sullivan, and others

Special feature: Suzie LeBlanc will talk about the Elizabeth Bishop Legacy Recording, which will be launched this year.

Light refreshments

 Last year's readers

 One of our best costumes ever:
 "The Moose"

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Film-maker John Scott adapting “In the Waiting Room”

Already with three highly successful three short films based on Elizabeth Bishop poems under his belt (“Sandpiper,” “One Art,” and “First Death in Nova Scotia”), film-maker John Scott (Magpie Productions -- http://www.magpieproductions.com/) is now tackling “In the Waiting Room,” one of Bishop’s most intimate evocations of her childhood. Though set in Worcester, Massachusetts, a shoot took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the weekend of 19-20 January 2013. Though stand alone films, these shorts are also prepatory to John’s larger documentary about Bishop. You can find out more about the documetnary at: http://www.magpieproductions.com/p/elizabeth-bishop-projecct.html

John kindly sent a few photographs from the “In the Waiting Room” shoot, which we wanted to share with you. We’ll keep you posted on this project as things unfold.

 "In the Waiting Room" shoot, Halifax, N.S., January 2013

"... while I waited I read / the National Geographic / (I could read)..."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A delightful flashback to a wonderful time in Great Village

It is hard to believe that EB100 is now over a year past. The memories are still vivid and the impact is still being felt in Nova Scotia – and we’ll keep posting things about how the latter will manifest this year and in the years to come. The other day I received this delightful photograph from Rosalee Peppard (http://www.rosalee.ca/).

Rosalee Peppard and April Sharpe, Great Village, August 2011

Rosalee graced the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Arts Festival, which took place in Great Village in August 2011, with her music and songs, including a wonderful tribute song that she wrote for Bishop’s 100th birthday. (She recorded this song on her cd VOICES – check out her website above to find out how you can get a copy of the cd.) The young lady with her is April Sharpe, of Great Village. April spent a good part of the Arts Festival at the Elizabeth Bishop House being “Little Miss Elizabeth Bishop.” She did a wonderful job, even playing “Ode to Joy” on the old pump organ in the parlour. She guided the hundreds of visitors around “her” grandparents’ house with knowledgeable enthusiasm. Seeing this image brought back a flood of memories to me. That weekend in Great Village in August 2011 was a magical time. Thank you Rosalee and April for helping to make it so.
Another update: John Scott announces on his Magpie Productions website that his adaptation of “First Death in Nova Scotia” is held over at the Coolidge theatre in Boston. Click this link to read more:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A brief look at Elizabeth Bishop projects in 2013

Can it be that we are now well into another year? 2013. It will be a year when several Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Legacy projects fully manifest. All the effort and work of 2011-2012 will come to fruition.

The Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia is moving forward with three projects:

First, the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Writing Competition book is progressing. The EBSNS is working with Gaspereau Press in Kentville, N.S., and we are truly excited about bringing to a wider audience the wonderful pieces written by a wide range of writers, young people and adults. This book, Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop, will be launched at the EBSNS AGM in June 2013.

  "Looking Towards the Blacksmith Shop," photograph by Laurie Gunn
(will be included in Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop)

Second, “Images of My Village,” is a visual art project initiated by the EBSNS in the fall of 2012. We approached all the schools in Colchester County (about 25 schools representing all grade levels) asking for students to submit an image that represents the sense of home and one’s identity with place. The EBSNS is collaborating with the media students at the Nova Scotia Community College in Truro, N.S., to create a virtual exhibition of all the submissions. To date, we have hundreds of images. The EBSNS will choose one of the images for a permanent banner which will be put up in Great Village every summer. The virtual exhibition will be launched in Spring 2013.

Third, the Elizabeth Bishop Legacy Recording is well underway. The EBSNS continues its collaboration with soprano Suzie LeBlanc and her team of amazing musicians. The final recording session took place in November 2012. Editing and mixing will take place over the winter. The fund-raising for this project continues – both online and through direct appeal. The EBSNS and Suzie are excited to announce that the Canada Council for the Arts will provide substantial funding ($19,700) for the production and marketing aspects of this project. We want to thank all those who have supported this project so far. A launch date for the cd is still pending, but we will announce it as soon as it has been decided.

These projects are all part of the EBSNS EB100 legacy programme. There are other Elizabeth Bishop projects in the works. For example, film-maker John Scott (Magpie Productions) is working on a full-scale documentary about Bishop and continues to produce short films based on her poems. He will be shooting an adaptation of “In the Waiting Room” in Halifax in January 2013. The big Brazilian film, Flores Rares, will be released this spring, propelling Elizabeth and Lota into the stratosphere of cinema. Much of the music commissioned by Suzie LeBlanc for the legacy recording is now beginning to be performed in other parts of Canada and the world. Nova Scotia visual artist Carol Laing is working on a fascinating project about Bishop’s life, based on extensive research she has done with the archive of photographic images at Vassar College and Acadia University. Nova Scotia writer Rita Wilson is working on a book for children about Bishop's childhood in Great Village. Indeed, more books will be appearing in the coming year and we will try to keep track of this publishing programme, make note of them on the blog.

Stay tuned for announcement and notices about upcoming projects, events and activities. We hope your year will be rewarding.