2016 ALA in San Francisco

Elizabeth Bishop: Drawing from Everyday Media

Organized by the Elizabeth Bishop Society

Friday, May 27, 8:10-9:30 a.m., (Session 7-D)

Chair: Steven Gould Axelrod, University of California, Riverside

  1. “‘Visits to St. Elizabeths’ and the Music of the Mad,” Heather Treseler, Worcester State University
  1. “‘Came and found it all, not unfamiliar’: Carmen Miranda and Bishop’s Banana-ized Brazil,” Jessica Goudeau, Southwestern University
  1. “The Making of The Ballad of the Burglar of Babylonby Elizabeth Bishop with Woodcuts by Ann Grifalconi, FSG, 1968,” Thomas Travisano, Hartwick College

Elizabeth Bishop Society Business Meeting, 12:40-2 p.m. (Session 10-L)

Call for Papers

The Elizabeth Bishop Society seeks proposals for its two sponsored panels at the annual ALA Conference in San Francisco this May 26-29, 2016. Descriptions of the sessions appear below; applicants are welcome to apply to either or to both panels by sending a proposed title for a 20-minute paper, an abstract of about 300 words, and a short biographical note to Angus Cleghorn (angus.cleghorn@senecacollege.ca) and to Heather Treseler (htreseler@worcester.edu) by January 15, 2016.

Elizabeth Bishop, Class, and Race
New scholarship about Bishop’s engagement with class and race in her poems, prose, letters, and archival documents suggests that the poet’s attitudes were complex and polyvalent. This panel invites proposals focused on Bishop’s aesthetic depictions of racial identities and class differences in any of her “three” geographies—Canada, the United States, and Brazil—during any one phase (or across) her career, adding to the substantial work in this area by Steven Gould Axelrod, Kirstin Hotelling Zona, and Renée Curry, among others.

Elizabeth Bishop’s Poems and Everyday Media
Bishop’s poetry frequently employs conceits from “everyday” media to include newspapers, songs, broadcasts, postcards, travelogues, nursery rhymes, and diaries. This panel will focus on Bishop’s use of “para-literary” conventions in her published and posthumously published poetry, her evolving reflections on poetics and incorporative practices, and the poet’s license to borrow from popular tropes and contemporary media. Proposals about Bishop’s incorporative aesthetic vis-à-vis those of her peers are also welcome.

Call for Papers: “Canada, Brazil, and Beyond”

Call for Papers, a special issue of Canada and Beyond
“Canada, Brazil, and Beyond”
Guest Editors: Diana Brydon and Vanessa A. Nunes

The Brazilian comparison makes good sense for Canadianists yet our different histories of colonialism, indigenous relations, and cultural debates about capitalism, democracy, multiculturalism, and globalization have seldom been investigated with the sustained attention they deserve. In literary studies, only a few names such as P.K. Page, Elizabeth Bishop, Jan Conn, and (more recently) Priscila Uppal have attracted much attention in their portrayals of Brazil, while the presence of Canada in Brazilian literature is even scarcer. This call for a special issue on Canada, Brazil, and Beyond begins to address the question of what might be learned from thinking about Brazil and Canada together. What creative works and new angles of analysis have been missed by neglecting this comparison? What revised frameworks might such a focus call for?

Canadian Studies has traditionally been oriented toward an Atlantic Studies paradigm working in English or French. Pacific and Northern studies functioned as supplements to this transatlantic orientation. Neither multicultural nor postcolonial studies succeeded in fundamentally dislodging it. A shift away from Europe toward situating Canada within the Americas was signaled by a few texts, which, however, paid scant attention to Brazil. Albert Braz proposes the label “Outer America” for Canada and Brazil as these two large countries are often forgotten in continental dialogues (119). With the exception of a few special journal issues and the journal Interfaces Brasil/Canadá, the journal of the Brazilian Association for Canadian Studies, the Canada-Brazil relation remains under-discussed.

Indigenous and Latin American decolonial studies, developing concurrently with the rise of interest in global and hemispheric studies, are creating an environment more receptive to thinking about Canada and Brazil, their changing relations, and the varied contexts in which they might illuminate each other. Canadian studies scholars, an international community, now look, not only to the east and west but also south and north from Canada as disciplinary alignments react to changing pressures. This contextual broadening, indicated by the launch of the journal, Canada and Beyond, from its base in Spain, now works across languages as well as across oceans and continents. It is in the light of these changes that we issue a call for papers rethinking the relations between Canada, Brazil, and Beyond.
We invite original papers on any dimension of this theme from scholars working within and across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Essays should be 6,000 – 8,000 words, double-spaced, and follow MLA style. Please email queries any time and completed papers to Diana.Brydon@umanitoba.ca and Almeida3@myumanitoba.ca by March 1, 2016. Papers will be reviewed with an aim of publication in the Spring 2017 issue.

Work Cited: Braz, Albert. “Outer America: Racial Hybridity and Canada’s Peripheral Place in Inter-American Discourse.” Canada and Its Americas: Transnational Navigations. Eds. Winfried Siemerling and Sarah Phillips Casteel. 119-133. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010.

ALA 2015 — Elizabeth Bishop Events

American Literature Association Annual Conference
Westin Copley Hotel, Boston (May 21-24, 2015)

Friday May 22, 2015
8:10 – 9:30 am

Session 7-L Business Meeting: Elizabeth Bishop Society (Parliament 7th Floor)

Friday May 22, 2015
12:40 – 2:00 pm

Session 10-M New Perspectives on Elizabeth Bishop (St. George C 3rd Floor)
Organized by the Elizabeth Bishop Society
Chair: Heather Treseler, Worcester State University

1. “Elizabeth Bishop and the Aesthetic of the Ugly,” George Lensing, University of North Carolina
2. “Approaching Bishop’s Letters to Dr. Ruth Foster,” Lorrie Goldensohn, Poet Critic
3. “‘We loudly protest your sensational untruths’: Elizabeth Bishop and the Rio de Janeiro Press,1965,” Jessica Goudeau, Southwestern University

Friday May 22, 2015
11:10am – 12:30pm

Session 9-G Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore (Great Republic 7th Floor)
Chair: Leslie Petty, Rhodes College

1. “Elizabeth Bishop’s Love Poems and Letters: Degrees of Distance and Intimacy,” Yangsoon Kim, Korea University
2. “A Magic of Pau(w)ses: Marianne Moore’s Neural Sublime,” Katie Piper Greulich, Michigan State University
3. “Marianne Moore in Transatlantic Modernist Magazines,” Celena E. Kusch, University of South Carolina Upstate

Friday May 22, 2015
2:10 – 3:30 pm

Session 11-L Roundtable (Double Session, Part I) What Happens When the Archives Are Open? The Instances of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop (St. George B 3rd Floor)
Organized by the Robert Lowell Society and the Elizabeth Bishop Society
Chair: Kathleen Spivack, Poet

1. Steven Gould Axelrod, University of California, Riverside
2. Frank Bidart, Wellesley College
3. Lorrie Goldensohn, Vassar College
4. Gizegorz Kosc, University of Warsaw
5. Alice Quinn, Poetry Society of America
6. Lloyd Schwartz, University of Massachusetts, Boston
7. Thomas Travisano, Hartwick College

Friday May 22, 2015
3:40 – 5:00 pm

Session 12-L Roundtable (Double Session, Part II) What Happens When the Archives Are Open? The Instances of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop (St. George B 3rd Floor)
Organized by the Robert Lowell Society and the Elizabeth Bishop Society
Chair: Kathleen Spivack, Poet

1. Steven Gould Axelrod, University of California, Riverside
2. Frank Bidart, Wellesley College
3. Lorrie Goldensohn, Vassar College
4. Gizegorz Kosc, University of Warsaw
5. Alice Quinn, Poetry Society of America
6. Lloyd Schwartz, University of Massachusetts, Boston
7. Thomas Travisano, Hartwick College

Call for Papers: Bishop Conference at University of Sheffield


An international conference on Elizabeth Bishop’s writing hosted by the University of Sheffield

Elizabeth Bishop’s Questions of Travel: Fifty Years After

25-27 June 2015, Sheffield, UK


Confirmed plenary speakers: Professor Stephen Burt (Harvard University), Professor Deryn Rees-Jones (University of Liverpool) and Professor Linda Anderson (Newcastle University)


To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Elizabeth Bishop’s third collection of poems, Questions of Travel (1965), and the importance of Bishop as a major influence on British and Irish contemporary poets, the University of Sheffield is pleased to host this international conference on her work in June 2015.


The aim of the conference is to look at Bishop as an international writer with allegiances to various countries and national traditions, including but not limited to the countries she lived in and felt at home. How does Bishop move between literal geographies like Brazil and Canada but also more slippery categories like home and elsewhere, human and animal, insider and outsider. While the focus of the conference will naturally fall on Questions of Travel, we welcome papers on all aspects and periods of Bishop’s career, from her early writing in the 1930s to the late poems finished after Geography III in the late 1970s and those works published after her death.


We are also interested in how Bishop’s writing has itself travelled elsewhere and what Bishop sounds like in other cultures, languages and traditions. John Ashbery famously called Bishop “a writer’s writer’s writer.” This conference will consider which writers mattered to Bishop and which contemporary writers have taken Bishop home with them.


Topics may include but are not limited to the following:


  • The place of Questions of Travel within the Bishop canon
  • Bishop’s Brazil/Brasil’s Bishop
  • The meaning of “Elsewhere”
  • Bishop’s dedications
  • Bishop’s questions
  • Bishop’s sense of humour
  • Bishop’s animal poems
  • Bishop as a correspondent
  • Bishop as a translator
  • Bishop as a travel writer
  • Bishop and visual art
  • Bishop and the Cold War
  • Bishop’s influence today


We encourage proposals from anyone with an interest in Bishop’s art and life, including established scholars, graduate students and creative writers.


Proposals for 20-minute papers (maximum 300 word abstracts, plus a short biographical note of no more than 50 words) are due by 15 December 2014, and should be sent to EB50@sheffield.ac.uk. Panel proposals (comprised of 3 paper proposals, plus an additional 250 words explaining how the papers are linked in addressing the theme) are also welcome.


In addition to academic papers, the conference will include at least two poetry readings, a wine tasting and a conference dinner.


The conference will be held at Halifax Hall, formerly home of the Victorian industrialist, philanthropist and Lord Mayor of Sheffield Sir Joseph Jonas, later a   hall of residence, now a beautiful hotel and conference venue in the middle of a conservation area and close to the city’s Botanical Gardens. Accommodation is available at a special conference rate for delegates in Halifax Hall and, more economically, in nearby student halls.


The city of Sheffield is located in the county of South Yorkshire in the north of England on the very edge of the Peak District National Park, approximately two hours by train from London.


The University of Sheffield has a long history in nurturing great writers. Sir William Empson was a former Head of Department for two decades, Stephen Daldry and Hilary Mantel are both former students, and Simon Armitage is our current Professor of Poetry.


For up-to-date information please consult the conference website:



You may also wish to look at the following:

School of English website: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/english

Halifax Hall website: http://www.halifaxhall.co.uk

Sheffield Centre for Poetry and Poetics: http://cppsheffield.tumblr.com


Conference organizing committee:


Jonathan Ellis (chair); Anna Barton; Madeleine Callaghan; Katherine Ebury; Ruth Hawthorn; Katrina Mayson; and Sophie Baldock.


ALA Roundtable on Students and Protégés

This year’s American Literature Association annual conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Washington, D. C. on Capitol Hill. The Bishop Society will feature a roundtable discussion on Saturday May 24, 2014 from 2:00 – 3:20 followed by a business meeting.

Roundtable: Elizabeth Bishop: Students and Protégés

Organized by the Elizabeth Bishop Society

Moderator: Thomas Travisano

Jane Shore, George Washington University
Julie Agoos, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Megan Marshall, Emerson College
Thomas Travisano, Hartwick College

Call for Papers: Dickinson Institute

On Friday, August 8th, 2014, the Emily Dickinson International Society “Dickinson Institute” will be held in Amherst, Massachusetts. The topic is “Emily Dickinson and New England Writers.” Individuals doing work on Dickinson’s relationship to other writers of her region should send 250-word abstracts of a paper to Elizabeth Petrino (EPetrino@fairfield.edu) and Alexandra Socarides (socaridesa@missouri.edu) by January 15, 2014.

Accepted participants will be notified by Feb. 15th and will be asked to circulate completed, conference-length (8-10 page) papers to a small group by June 15th. Members will meet at the Institute with this group to discuss their work in detail. The Institute will also involve a plenary speaker and a gathering of all Institute members at its close to reflect on their work and the larger themes of the conference. The Institute is scheduled for the first day of the Emily Dickinson Annual Meeting, which all participants are welcome to attend.

American Literature Association Conference in Boston

On May 25, 2013, 9:30 – 11:00 am, at the Westin Copley Place Hotel

The Elizabeth Bishop Society presents:

Session 15-F Dialogues with Elizabeth Bishop 

Chair and Organizer: Angus Cleghorn, Seneca College, Toronto

1. “Constructing Madness: Bishop and the Power of Poe’s Curiosity,” Ola Madhour, University of Fribourg

2. “Reading a Friend’s Novels: a Look at the Bishop-Barkers’ Correspondence,” Francesco Rognoni, Catholic University in Milan

3. “‘A Mirror on Which to Dwell’: Musical Settings of Bishop Poems,” Lloyd Schwartz, University of Massachusetts, Boston


“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 (cdc115@eden.rutgers.edu), Brian Bartlett (bbartlett@hfx.eastlink.ca), Anne Shifrer (Anne.Shifrer@usu.edu). 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 Anne.Shifrer@usu.edu 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.