Dear Elizabeth : five poems and three letters to Elizabeth Bishop


    • Swenson, May
    • Bishop, Elizabeth


Dear Elizabeth : five poems and three letters to Elizabeth Bishop

May Swenson ; afterword by Kirstin Hotelling Zona

Utah State University Press, c2000

  • : pbk

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"Originally published as Four poems and a letter to Elizabeth Bishop, Bear River Press, 1997" -- T.p. verso



Between 1950 and 1979, May Swenson and Elizabeth Bishop exchanged over 260 letters. Their letters have interested scholars of American poetry for the commentary they contain on important work that each poet was publishing at the time, but equally for what these letters reveal about the relationship between the two writers. In Dear Elizabeth, three letters and five poems from Swenson to Bishop, including an unfinished draft never published before, are gathered into one small volume with an insightful essay by scholar and poet Kirstin Hotelling Zona. This brief but intense collection offers a surprising and revealing glimpse of a complicated relationship between two very different women and very different poets, both of whom made unquestionably major contributions to American poetry of the twentieth century. During her long career, May published eleven volumes of poetry, as well as individual poems in The New Yorker, Poetry, Parnassus, The Paris Review, Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, and many other major journals and anthologies; she received the Bollingen Prize for Poetry, along with Rockefeller, Ford, Guggenheim, and MacArthur fellowships.

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