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Elizabeth Bishop centennial

To celebrate the centennial of the birth of Elizabeth Bishop, some of her previously unpublished writing is being released.

By / February 8, 2011

On her 100th birthday, Bishop is being honored as a major force in American poetry.

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After 100 years, who couldn’t use a facelift?

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That seems to be the idea behind a new line of Elizabeth Bishop books being released today to mark the centennial of Bishop’s birth. The publishing project repackages material from previous books but also includes other material that hasn’t been brought between covers before. The book releases coincide with public celebrations of Bishop’s birthday centennial this week in New York City and Boston.

Born in Worcester, Mass. on Feb. 8, 1911, Bishop had become known as one of America’s leading poets before her death in Boston on Oct. 6, 1979. Bishop also penned a number of prose pieces, including travelogue, and she was a boundlessly prolific letter writer, too.

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux is releasing three books today that hint at Bishop’s productivity across multiple genres.

Poems,” issued in a $16 softcover, includes all of the poems that Bishop saw into print and a selection of unfinished, posthumously published work.

Prose,” a $20 softcover, features pieces from an earlier collection of Bishop’s prose, but also includes – for the first time – the original draft of “Brazil,” a travelogue that she repudiated in its initially published version after a dispute over editorial changes.

A third book, “Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence,” collects within a $35 hardcover the letters that Bishop exchanged over many years with New Yorker editors Charles Pearce, Katharine White, and Harold Moss. The magazine frequently published Bishop’s work and greatly enhanced her profile.

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