Elizabeth Bishop centennial
To celebrate the centennial of the birth of Elizabeth Bishop, some of her previously unpublished writing is being released.
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Although Bishop was born in Massachusetts and eventually died there, family circumstances and a wandering spirit took her far beyond her native state. After her father died and her mother was committed to a mental asylum, Bishop was sent to live with her mother’s parents in Nova Scotia, and she later lived with her father’s family in Worcester and Boston. Stints in Europe and Florida followed, and she lived for many years in Brazil after falling ill there in 1951 and decided to extend her stay.Skip to next paragraph
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The physical and emotional displacements of Bishop's youth often gave her poems the distinct perspective of an outsider, and her work is known for its detached, exactingly precise sense of observation. A protégé of the poet Marianne Moore, Bishop also embraced Moore's sharp attention to the natural world.
For readers who want to know more about Bishop’s life and work, the Academy of American Poets offers a brief biography of the poet and a sampling of her poems.
Readers in the New York City and Boston areas can also sample her work at two public readings this week. On Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 7 pm, The Great Hall at New York City's Cooper Union will feature 20 poets, each reading a favorite Bishop poem. More information is available at the site of the Poetry Society.
On Thursday night at 7, another group of poets will gather at the Jacob Sleeper Auditorium at Boston University to read from Bishop’s poetry.
Both events are free and open to the public.