Throughout Elizabeth Bishop’s many travels, New York remained a natural hub for her to return to. The city became her temporary “home” at various times throughout her life. Nevertheless, Elizabeth Bishop had a complicated relationship with the city that both inspired and tormented her in equal measure. After graduating from Vassar, Bishop saw New York as a threatening yet thriving literary scene; for an aspiring writer, it was the place to be. Her relationship with mentor poet, Marianne Moore, drew her to the city in the 1930s, and Moore’s influence on the young Bishop in the city was considerable. New York became the setting for many of Bishop’s poems, and her life in the city inspired many others. The ambitious poet was ultimately able to fully break onto the literary scene with the help of The New Yorker, which published her work from 1940 through the end of her life . However, Bishop often viewed New York as a dark, threatening environment, and she was rarely healthy living in the city. She suffered from severe asthma, chronic depression, and alcoholism, all exacerbated by the stresses of living in this urban environment. In the end, Bishop’s relationship with the city was paradoxical: her time in New York both made her and marred her. The city nurtured her as a poet but destroyed her mentally and emotionally. In the following pages, you can explore the many sides of Bishop’s relationship with the city.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Works Cited

Bishop, Elizabeth. Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. Print.

Elizabeth Bishop and the New Yorker. Ed. Joelle Biele. New York: Farrar, Straus
and Giroux, 2011. Print.

Garner, Dwight. "Elizabeth Bishop, Fighting the New Yorker Over Extra Commas and
Steaming Cowflops." The New York Times. 8 Feb. 2011. Web. 8 Aug. 2011.

Harrison, Victoria. Elizabeth Bishop's Poetics of Intimacy. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 1993. Print.

Kalstone, David. Becoming a Poet: Elizabeth Bishop with Marianne Moore and Robert
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989. Print.

Millier, Brett C. Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the Memory of It. Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 1993. Print.

Stevenson, Anne. Five Looks at Elizabeth Bishop. Northumbumberland: Bloodaxe Books,
Ltd., 2006. Print.

Travisano, Thomas J. Elizabeth Bishop: Her Artistic Development. Charlottesville:
University Press of Virginia, 1988. Print.

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