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    The Helix Center for Interdisciplinary Investigation

    Elizabeth Bishop: A conversation about her poetry

    Saturday, March 16, 2013
    2:00 PM

    Four lovers of the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop—Bonnie Costello, Alice Quinn, Lloyd Schwartz, and Jean Valentine—will discuss what they admire about her poems and read aloud from her work.

    Donations Accepted

    New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute
    247 East 82nd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
    The Marianne & Nicholas Young Auditorium


    Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) is one of the great masters of American poetry of the 20th Century. Her remarkable gifts have been described in a variety of ways, but one gift repeatedly recognized by readers is her skill at recounting the results of her capacity for observation. As Randall Jarrell remarked in response to her very first book of poems, North & South: “All her poems have written underneath, ‘I have seen it.’” Perhaps the following precise and general praise by Howard Moss successfully suggests her specialness: “What Elizabeth Bishop brings to poetry is a new imagination; because of that, she is revolutionary, not ‘experimental.’ ... Admired by critics, poets, and anyone genuinely interested in writing, her work is not easily labeled.... She is not academic, beat, cooked, raw, formal, informal, metrical, syllabic, or what have you. She is a poet pure and simple who has perfect pitch.” Four lovers of the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop—Bonnie Costello, Alice Quinn, Lloyd Schwartz, and Jean Valentine—will discuss what they admire about her poems and read aloud from her work.
    BONNIE COSTELLO is a professor at Boston University whose scholarly work concentrates on modern and contemporary poetry, often from fresh new angles. She is the author of Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions (1981), Elizabeth Bishop: Questions of Mastery (1991), and the general editor of The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore (1997). Her more recent literary studies include Shifting Ground (2003), in which she explores landscape and environmental poetry, and Planets on Tables: Poetry, Still Life and the Turning World (2008), which (in her words) examines “the interplay of private and public spheres in still life motifs.” Ms. Costello is currently working on Pronoun Trouble: Auden and Others in the First Person Plural.

    ALICE QUINN is the executive director of the Poetry Society of America and an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of the Arts at Columbia University. She was the Poetry Editor of The New Yorker for two decades and before that was an editor at Alfred A. Knopf. Ms. Quinn compiled a collection of Elizabeth Bishop’s unpublished work in Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments, which appeared in 2006. She is currently preparing a collection of Elizabeth Bishop’s journals and notebooks.

    LLOYD SCHWARTZ is the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In addition to being a poet and literary critic, Mr. Schwartz is the classical music editor for The Boston Phoenix and a regular commentator on NPR’s Fresh Air. In 1994, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his writing on music. He is co-editor of Elizabeth Bishop and Her Art, a collection of essays on the poet, and the Library of America’s edition of her collected works: Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters. His own poems have been included in The Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize anthologies.

    JEAN VALENTINE has been contributing poems to our literature for half a century. Her first book, Dream Barker and Other Poems, won the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 1965. Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965-2003 won the National Book Award in 2004, and her most recent book, Break the Glass, was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. Ms. Valentine has received grants and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She has been awarded the Shelley Memorial Award by the Poetry Society of America and the Wallace Stevens Award by the American Academy of Poets. She was the State Poet of New York from 2008-2010.

guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •
guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •
guidance • support • stress • anxiety • depression • conflict • hyperactivity • identity disorders • socialization • self-esteem •