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

Monday, June 19, 2023

EBSNS holds its 2023 Annual General Meeting in Great Village, N.S.

For the first time in its history, the EBSNS held its AGM in the Elizabeth Bishop House. A merry band of 20 members and guests gathered for a lively afternoon of business, an uplifting presentation and delicious treats. You can read the minutes and see other documents connected to the business side of things on the EBSNS website.

The highlight of the afternoon was a fascinating presentation by writer Rita Wilson and illustrator Emma FitzGerald, who collaborated on A Pocket of Time: The Poetic Childhood of Elizabeth Bishop, published by Nimbus Publishing in 2019. They shared rich descriptions and details of their respective creative processes, which lead to a timeless book about Bishop’s childhood in Great Village. The assembled sat with rapt attention as both artists shared the often surprising path that brought the book into being. The location was perfect for the presentation, as the book is set mostly in the house. We all felt the magic of being in the place that meant so much to Bishop. After the presentation, Rita and Emma conducted an exercise with the audience, having them draw pictures connected to memories of childhood. Lots of questions were asked that generated lively discussion.

Here are a few photos of the gathering.

(Rita Wilson)
(Emma FitzGerald)
(The assembled listening closely.)

N.B.: 2024 will mark the 30th anniversary of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia. The EBSNS board is planning a series of events at the EB House in June next year to mark this milestone. More information about these events will be posted as it becomes available.


One of the new additions to the EB House is a hand-made hooked rug done by Colchester fabric artist Penny Lighthall, based on Bishop’s poem “First Death in Nova Scotia.” Appropriately, it has been placed in the parlour. You can learn more about Penny’s work on her Facebook pages. Thanks to Penny for giving such a delightful gift to the EB House. Rug hooking was an art form that Bishop's maternal grandmother and aunts engaged in regularly. She noted in a letter to a friend that the house was full of such rugs.

(Rug by Penny Lighthall)

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