The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

March 19, 2007

Elizabeth Bishop

BishopElizabeth Bishop was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1911. After a childhood marked by frequent moves, Bishop graduated from Vassar College in 1934, then traveled widely and lived in New York, Europe, Key West, and Brazil, where she lived with partner Lota de Macedo Soares. Bishop’s first book, North & South, won the Houghton Mifflin Poetry Award for 1946. In 1955, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Poems: North & South––A Cold Spring. Her next book of poetry, Questions of Travel (1965), won the National Book Award and was followed by The Complete Poems in 1969. Geography III (1976) received the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1976, Bishop became both the first American and the first woman to win the Books Abroad/Neustadt Prize for Literature. In addition, she translated a famous Brazilian diary, The Diary of Helena Morley; coedited and co-translated An Anthology of Contemporary Brazilian Poetry (1972); was a prolific contributor to The New Yorker; and was the recipient of two Guggenheim fellowships. She received honorary degrees from a number of universities, including Brown and Princeton, as well as from Smith and Amherst Colleges. Bishop was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress in 1949-50. Bishop died on October 6, 1979. Posthumous works include The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 (1983) and The Collected Prose (1984), and Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke Box, edited by New Yorker poetry editor Alice Quinn.

You can read more about Elizabeth Bishop here, and you can read all posts about her here.