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

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A Conversation about Elizabeth Bishop

On 2 March 2020, I had the honour and privilege to participate in a public conversation about Elizabeth Bishop, held at the marvelous Central Library in Halifax, N.S. I joined Rita Wilson, author of A Pocket of Time: The Poetic Childhood of Elizabeth Bishop, Emma FitzGerald, illustrator of this book, Nova Scotia poet Alison Smith, and Nova Scotia writer, academic and scholar Alexander MacLeod, who acted as moderator for what, from my perspective, felt like a lively chat. I hope that the over 100 people who turned out to listen found the same to be true. I was delighted and a bit surprised that so many folks gathered for a poetry chat on a damp Monday evening.

I want to thank Rita and Emma for having this idea and for their effort to organize it, along with the folks at the library, Nimbus Publishing (who published A Pocket of Time – in particular Whitney Moran), Dalhousie University for providing much practical support, and Mike Hamm from Bookmark and Lisa Doucet from Woozles, who are two of the greatest supporters of writers in Halifax. Here is a photograph of the panel “in action” taken by Marlo MacKay from Dalhousie. The image projected behind us is one of EB’s own paintings, a Nova Scotia scene.
(Left to Right: Rita Wilson, Sandra Barry, Alison Smith,
Alexander MacLeod, Emma FitzGerald.)
The conversation continued afterwards at Field Guide, a wonderful restaurant and cocktail bar in the north end of Halifax. Field Guide co-owner Ceilidh Sutherland is the granddaughter of Phyllis Sutherland, first cousin of Elizabeth Bishop. Ceilidh, her head bartender and Emma FitzGerald conspired to create three cocktails in honour of EB. Alas, I was not able to attend this more informal element of the evening, but Emma has sent me several photos, which I share below. How I wish I could have tried all three!! EB would have been intrigued by these poetic, liquid creations.
With deepest gratitude for all those who made this event possible.
(Lovely atmosphere)
(The second gathering)
(Rita and Emma, the instigators!)
(Making those cocktails!)
(Click to enlarge to see the titles and recipes!)

(This photo just in from Alexander MacLeod --
The cocktails in question!! They look so elegant. thanks Alexander)

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