English 90eb. Elizabeth Bishop and Others

Instructor: Vidyan Ravinthiran
Day & Time: TBD | Location: TBD

This course introduces students to the poetry, literary prose, and artful correspondence of one of the major poets of the twentieth century, considering her innovations in all these genres. We will look at her writing in multiple genres alongside the mid-century shift from ‘closed’ to ‘open’ verse forms, and relate stylistic issues to the intellectual and social changes, and political and historical developments of the period. Bishop’s critique of received ideas about nationality, race, power, gender, sexual orientation, and the overlap between culture and nature, is connected with her status as a cosmopolitan poet with links to Canada, the U.S. and Brazil.  ‘Others’ refers both to how her writing comes to terms with the (sociopolitical) reality of other people, and to the comparisons we’ll draw between her writing and that of other poets.