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

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Panel Discussion about Elizabeth Bishop

Please join us for a light-hearted virtual discussion on how Elizabeth Bishop’s writing has inspired personal journeys. Tues. September 21st, 7-8pm Atlantic (6-7pm Eastern.)

Each panelist, illustrator Emma FitzGerald, filmmaker John D. Scott, academic writer/biographer Thomas Travisano, journalist (and moderator) Lis van Berkel, and poet and writer Rita Wilson has produced work inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s life and work. Each will share their journey and then we will invite the audience to share their responses to Elizabeth Bishop’s work and/or any of the works produced by the panelists. This event is organized in concert with the feature-length documentary Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Losing, which has its world premiere as part of this years’ FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival, screening Monday September 20th, at Park Lane Theatre in Halifax, NS at 9:30pm, or virtually (for those in Atlantic Canada) anytime from Sept. 16-23. 

Tickets for the screening can be purchased here

Our hope is that the free and virtual discussion on Tuesday September 21st will have some people present who have viewed the film, though it is not required!

Discussion Starts Tues. September 21nd, 7pm Atlantic (6pm Eastern.)


Topic: Discussion on how Elizabeth Bishop’s writing has inspired a personal journey
Time: Sep 21, 2021 07:00 PM Halifax

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 928 0126 9587
Passcode: 979275 



Emma FitzGerald wrote and illustrated Hand Drawn Halifax, published in 2015, which has set her on a path of recording the stories of places and people in book form. Emma first visited the Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village for a week-long residency in October 2013. This initial interest led her to travel to Brazil in 2015, and included visits to Bishop's homes in Ouro Preto and Samambaia. In 2019 she illustrated A Pocket of Time: The Poetic Childhood of Elizabeth Bishop (words Rita Wilson, Nimbus publishing).  For Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Losing, John D. Scott's documentary on the life and work of Elizabeth Bishop, Emma delved into animation for the first time, using reference photos and John's instruction to imagine various moments in Bishop's adult life. 

John D. Scott is a Nova Scotian currently on sabbatical leave as a faculty member and program director for the Documentary Studies and Production degree at Ithaca College in New York. Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Losing is his second feature-length project and pairs well with Scouts Are Cancelled, a documentary on Nova Scotian poet John Stiles. Scott’s ten-year journey making Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Losing started with his fascination with Bishop’s search for home after leaving Nova Scotia, and her ultimately victorious struggle to be open and vulnerable in her work. Also, Scott relates a little too well with Bishop’s struggle to finish projects in a timely manner. 

Thomas Travisano is the founding President of the Elizabeth Bishop Society and the author or editor of numerous books and articles featuring Bishop. These include his recent biography Love Unknown: The Life and Worlds of Elizabeth Bishop, as well as Elizabeth Bishop: Her Artistic Development, Midcentury Quartet, and Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Travisano is co-editor of the three volume New Anthology of American Poetry and of the essay collection Elizabeth Bishop in the 21st Century. He is Professor Emeritus of English at Hartwick College. 

Lis van Berkel (Moderator) has worked in radio and location sound recording, and taught English. She reported on the launch of the Elizabeth Bishop House for the CBC National Arts Report. Lis now lives in the Annapolis Valley where she is slow-writing her first book. 

Rita Wilson is a poet, writer, and teacher, who became absorbed with Bishop after belatedly encountering her work. The result is the children's book: A Pocket of Time: The Poetic Childhood of Elizabeth Bishop, (illustrated by Emma FitzGerald.)