Admirers of Elizabeth Bishop have reveled in One Art
(1994), a collection of her letters, and will find much of value in this lively collection of interviews spanning 25 years of the poet's very literary life. Bishop dazzled and enlightened such sophisticated interviewers as Edward Lucie-Smith, Tom Robbins, Anna Quindlen, and David McCullough at various stages in her poetic evolution. She notes that she writes most often about "geography" and animals, identifies her influences--George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore--and, an ardent feminist, bristles at being labeled the "greatest feminine poet of the decade" in 1970. Childhood memories surface, as do amusing stories about occupying the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress in 1950, living in Brazil, and, of course, reading and writing poetry. There is much heart and wit in these conversations, but some of the most disarming glimpses into Bishop's personality are found in the volume's final piece, Dana Gioia's vivid "Studying with Miss Bishop," a delightful description of Bishop's unforgettable approach to teaching poetry at Harvard. Donna Seaman
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.