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

Sunday, May 16, 2021

A Pocket of Time update

 (Tulips at the back door of the EB House,

Great Village, N.S. Photo by Janet Maybee)

Author Rita Wilson has sent me several links, all of which go to a video of a reading of her wonderful book A POCKET OF TIME: THE POETIC CHILDHOOD OF ELIZABETH BISHOP (Nimbus Publishing), done by Rita and her granddaughter Rose. You also see many of the brilliant illustrations by Emma FitzGerald. This delightful video has been posted by the Halifax Regional Library on its virtual library site. I think it is absolutely wonderful to have this version of Rita’s lively, tender, insightful story of Bishop’s childhood in Great Village. Thank you, Rita. Thank you, Rose.

Here are the links:


Facebook (you need to log in)

Instagram (the Halifax libraries virtual library – again, you need to log in)

Almost at the same time, EBSNS board member and author Janet Maybee sent me the above photo, and the one below, of tulips in bloom right now at the EB House in Great Village. Spring is finally here.

(Tulips by the barn, EB House, Great Village,
N.S. Photo by Janet Maybee)

Janet also sent this photo below of the feat of engineering at the back of St. James Church in Great Village. The new owners will have a café and a concert venue that will be bustling, I am sure, once the covid-19 public health restrictions are eased. Let us hope for a busy summer of gatherings. Perhaps Rita Wilson will be able to read in that venue sometime in the future. Hope so!

Monday, May 10, 2021

Elizabeth Bishop’s House in Key West, Florida

Illustrator, friend and EB fan Emma FitzGerald recently shared a link to a site with photos of Elizabeth Bishop’s Key West house taken by Florida photographer Mark Hedden. You can check them out by clicking here. This house is now owned by the Key West Literary Seminar. You can learn more about their good work with this important house by clicking here.

 (Elizabeth Bishop in Key West, late 1930s)

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Clacton remembered for different reasons

I follow a blog, Ernest Blair Experiment, presented by Bob Maher – with a wide range of subjects, including a special focus on geography and the idea of place. In a recent post, which you can see by clicking here, Bob shared a photo of Clacton on the east coast of England, taken in 1938. It was quite a bustling resort community and this photo shows some of the attractions that drew people there in gret numbers. Bob was born and raised in England, but lives now in Nova Scotia. I am always interested in what Bob offers, but this post intrigued me because Elizabeth Bishop’s great-uncle, the painter George Wylie Hutchinson lived in Clacton. George was born in 1852 and died in 1942. During the last couple decades of his life, Clacton (I have also seen Clacton-on-sea and Greater Clacton, which is where George is buried, in the Bulmer family archive, housed at Acadia University) was his home.

In any case, I was delighted to see the image below of this community, where I have never been, at that time, a time when George was very much alive. He was still painting, but also had become a photographer. He and his second wife, Lily Yerbury, lived in a snug bungalow that they had named “Thelma,” and George also grew roses. Indeed, roses were a passion for him. You can see a photo of George, circa 1921, standing in the yard of Thelma, by clicking here. I know it is well over a decade before the photo Bob shared, but George was a stalwart of Clacton in his day, long retired from the active illustrating career he had at the turn of the twentieth century. I asked Bob if I could post his photo and he kindly gave me permission. 

(Clacton, England, 1938)