“Elizabeth Bishop as Muse: Inspiration and Emulation”

In conjunction with an anthology project which collects published poems about, addressed to, or strongly influenced by Elizabeth Bishop, the project editors are proposing a session at ALA in which participants discuss one or two such poems. We are hoping to create a panel or roundtable which includes both critics and poets (even poets who have authored such a poem). In a ten-minute presentation (approx. four pages), participants will consider what the poem(s) of their choice uniquely reveals about E.B.’s life and character or the nature, craft, and value of her art. Those interested may find our provisional list of anthology poems (by her British and American peers as well as generations of poets from Ireland’s Seamus Heaney to Brazil’s Anna Cristina Cesar) at the following address:].

We also welcome poems we haven’t yet discovered, so long as these provide valuable insights into what it is about E.B.’s poetry that so inspires admiration and emulation.

Please send proposals (about 250 words or even a paper draft) to the editors: Corey Clawson (, Brian Bartlett (, Anne Shifrer ( We seek compressed and polished short essays. After the presentations (5-6 people), the panelists will have an open discussion.


Call for Suggestions: Poems about Elizabeth Bishop.

Brian Bartlett, Anne Shifrer, and Corey Clawson, Elizabeth Bishop scholars or readers, are compiling an anthology of poems that respond to the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop. We are looking for poems that comment significantly on Bishop’s life and personhood as well as poems that comment on or engage with the craft, style, or substance of her poetry. Poems that shape themselves in relation to Bishop’s work (e.g., Lowell’s “Skunk Hour” modeling its ending on Bishop’s “The Armadillo”) are also of interest.

While we may include a few unpublished poems, our primary goal is to gather published poems (approx. from 1950-2012)  and to present these as a poetic conversation that both adds to the critical conversation and provides its own unique commentary on the character, craft, and value of Bishop’s art.

The editors would greatly appreciate suggestions from Elizabeth Bishop readers and the broad audience of poetry readers as there are doubtless many poems of which we are unaware. Please send suggestions to and she will send these along to the other editors.

We may also propose a panel on this subject for the 2013 American Literature Association Annual Conference to be held in Boston, May 21-24. Those interested in our project might look toward participation in such a panel.


Press Contact:

Karen Rodriguez



Halifax, NS (8.22.2012) — First Death in Nova Scotia, the latest adaptation of an Elizabeth Bishop poem by director John Scott, will premiere at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, NS. The short was filmed in January 2012 in Great Village, NS where Bishop’s maternal grandparents resided. Bishop spent formative years in Great Village and often wrote about her experiences there in her poems and short stories.

The film stars talented newcomer Anneke Stroink as a young Elizabeth Bishop and  Zoe D’Amato as her mother Gertrude. Set in the early 20th Century, the film was shot at the period perfect Blaikie House Bed and Breakfast. Cast and crew were housed at the Blaikie House as well as at Bishop’s family home the Elizabeth Bishop House. Director of the Elizabeth Bishop House and Bishop scholar Sandra Barry says the film “is wonderfully atmospheric, evocative, true to the spirit of the poem and to the actual events on which the poem is based.”

“I’m so happy that the Atlantic Film Festival is presenting this film that celebrates the work of Elizabeth Bishop who I believe was the greatest storyteller and poet who ever lived here” said John Scott.  “I hope audiences find that this adaptation of her poem lives up to her legacy.”

John Scott has won many awards and distinctions as an independent filmmaker and producer. Recent work includes the widely reviewed feature-length documentary Scouts Are Cancelled and the short Dear Pam both of which premiered at the Hot Docs Documentary Festival in Toronto. Scouts are Cancelled won the Rex Tasker Documentary Award for Best Atlantic Documentary at The Atlantic Film Festival in 2007.

Scott worked as field producer for Street Cents and as a news editor with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has an MFA in Film and Video Production from the University of Iowa and teaches film and video production at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.

Scott has produced two other adaptations of Bishop’s poems — One Art and Sandpiper. The short films are part of a long-form documentary in development called, Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Losing. For more information on the film, visit Scott’s website at  For information about screening times, please see:

The American Literature Association 2012

Annual conference in San Francisco featured the following panel:

Teaching Elizabeth Bishop in the 21st Century

Organized by the Elizabeth Bishop Society

Saturday May 26

Chair: Angus Cleghorn, Seneca College, Toronto

1.  “Teaching Bishop from North to South,” Bethany Hicok, Westminster College

2.  “Teaching Elizabeth Bishop in ‘Theories and Morphologies of the Lyric’,” Christina Pugh, University of Illinois at Chicago

3.  “The Art of Finding: Adding Bishop Up for the Classroom,” Charles Berger, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville