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Elizabeth Bishop

Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911–79, American poet, b. Worcester, Mass., grad. Vassar, 1934. During the 1950s and 60s she lived in Brazil, eventually returning to her native New England, where she taught at Harvard (1970–77). Her first volume of poetry, North and South (1946), was reprinted with additions as North and South—A Cold Spring (1955; Pulitzer Prize). Her poetic vision is penetrating and detached; her style is subtle yet conversational. Without straining for novelty, she finds symbolic significance in objects and events quietly observed and scrupulously described. Among her other works are Geography III (1976), Complete Poems (1979), and The Collected Prose (1984); several travel books, notably Questions of Travel (1965) and Brazil (1967); and Edgar Allan Poe & the Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts and Fragments (2006). With Emanuel Brasil she edited An Anthology of Twentieth Century Brazilian Poetry (1972) and she also translated the works of several Brazilian poets.


See her Poems (2011) and Prose (2011); One Art: Letters, selected correspondence ed. by R. Giroux (1994); T. Travisano and S. Hamilton, ed., Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (2008); biographies by A. Stevenson (1966), B. C. Millier (1993), and G. Fountain and P. Brazeau (1994); C. L. Oliveira, Rare and Commonplace Flowers: The Story of Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares (2002); studies by R. D. Parker (1988), T. Travisano (1988), B. Costello (1991), L. Goldensohn (1992), C. Doreski (1993), S. McCabe (1994), M. M. Lombardi (1995), A. Colwell (1997), A. Stevenson (1998), X. Zhou (1999), and P. Samuels (2010).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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