"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Slamming Elizabeth Bishop

"Her favorite example of 'perfect' iambic pentameter was: 'I hate to see that evenin' sun go down."
--Lloyd Schwartz, "Elizabeth Bishop, 1911-1979," in Elizabeth Bishop and her Art, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1983), p. 254.

Hey Ev!  So you awake Ev baby?
So you know something?
Oh so you do know something --

Well, pretend you don't.
Pretend you don't know
a goddam friggin thing, eh?
Cuz you know something?

Like NOBODY slams Lizzy B.
Like no man I swear! No jive!
Like try googling her ass on PSi
You friggin well won't get Rives
giving Herself high fives.

So you think maybe it's the spelling, eh? That's it?
So you think maybe she's a Brit?
So try googling her arse instead, arsehole!
Like you think maybe your little pinkie slipped?
Like all's you can come up with is some guy

named Steve Marsh flapping his lips
about how the way she says "The Fish" is like
"Let's get this out of the way
so I can get back to my laundry."
Sheesh man I mean well really what I mean is just SHEESH.

So what about Marjorie Perloff?
So what about her? I mean talk about sheesh --
So hows about you just tend to your own knitting, eh?
 So hows about you just go and Perloff, eh?

You asleep again Ev?

So NOW what?
So THIS what.
So WHAT what already!?

It all goes to show.
Show WHAT?

You just can't keep a good dead white chick down.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Musician Joanne Hatfield at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival

Imagine sitting under the shade of a big maple listening to the lively melodies of a guitar, songs of Brazil in the north. The EBSNS is delighted to have accomplished Bossa Nova musician Joanne Hatfield performing during lunch during the Elizabeth Bishop Festival on 8 August 2015.
Truro, N.S., native Joanne Hatfield holds a music composition degree from Dalhousie University and has taught music for more than 20 years. She currently teaches piano and ukulele and directs a choir in Brookfield, Nova Scotia. Her composition and guitar/vocal performance of Brazilian Bossa Nova repertoire has led to collaborations with jazz guitarist Amy Brandon, and with poet/vocalist John Barnstead.
Cocada performs "Black Beans and Diamonds"
in St. James United Church, 2009
Her trio Cocada, with Dawn Hatfield on flute and tenor saxophone, and Jef Wirchenko, double bass, teamed up with Barnstead for “Black Beans and Diamonds,” a presentation of Brazilian music and Elizabeth Bishop’s prose and poetry associated with her time in Brazil.
Left to right: Sandra Barry, John Barnstead, Joanne Hatfield,
Dawn Hatfield, Jef Wirchenko, Great Village, 2009
Cocada has performed at a variety of venues, from multi-cultural festivals to intimate settings. The group has recently enjoyed working with percussionist Glenn Fraser who adds new textures and rhythms to the ensemble. “Lantern,” Joanne’s Bishop-inspired composition for baritone sax, piano and voice, premiered in Halifax in July 2012.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Poetry Reading at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival – Profile of Libby Schofield

One of the exciting events that will take place at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival on 8 August 2015 will be a morning poetry reading with Joanne Light, Chad Norman, Andrew Daniel Patterson and Libby Schofield. This post is a profile of Libby Schofield. 


Libby Schofield is a blogger and author from a small community in mainland Nova Scotia. She currently resides in Halifax where she studies at the University of King’s College. She has been writing poems and short stories for as long as she can remember, and is usually working on one novel idea or another. Her work has appeared online, in magazines, in three Canadian anthologies, and she wrote the narration and synopsis for a local rendition of The Nutcracker.

Her anthology The Night is Starry: A Collection of Poems and Short Stories was released August 14, 2013. Her short story “The Carpenter” was released as an ebook in June 2014.

She has a passion for gender portrayal in media, including books, and hopes to incorporate healthy ideas about gender and body image into her own writing. Not every woman needs a prince to have a happily ever after, and there are more things than physical beauty and heteronormative romance to make a good story. Seeing different types of women and men who may or may not conform to gender roles is important in creating a positive idea of gender, and having diverse character portrayals spanning gender, sex, race, class, and age.

Libby is deeply in love with Nova Scotia and her rural community. The Elizabeth Bishop festival in 2011 prompted her to write about her hometown for the first time, and she has since made Nova Scotia and home a theme in many aspects of her writing. After moving to Halifax for university, she has been struck by the difference between country and city life. She enjoys telling any city person who will listen about what it’s like making maple syrup, having cows in front of your high school, and living in a place with no stop lights.

Her interests include classic and nerdy novels, gender studies, teen writers and artists, cats, history, and the mass consumption of chocolate and tea. She shares her opinions on everything from feminism to university life on her blog (https://libbyschofield.wordpress.com/) and is always looking for new people to connect with.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Gathering Place for Artisans and Artists: The Elizabeth Bishop Festival Market

One of the main features of the Elizabeth Bishop Festival taking place in GV on 8 August 2015 is the “Festival Market,” where over a dozen artists and artisans will gather to share their creations. We will be profiling these artists and artisans over the next few months. This post is a profile of painter Andrew Meredith.

Andrew’s passion for art came early in life, surrounded by the colours and beauty of Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, where Andrew was born. Andrew has had his art in galleries across Canada. In 2003 his artwork was featured at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. In 2011 Andrew created several images of the Elizabeth Bishop House. Part of the proceeds of the sale of prints of these paintings went to support the house
Andrew's charming painting of the Elizabeth Bishop House for his 2011 fund-raiser.

To view more of Andrew’s artwork check, go to his website

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Poetry Reading at EB Festival – Profile of Joanne Light

One of the exciting events that will take place at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival on 8 August 2015 will be a morning poetry reading with Joanne Light, Chad Norman, Andrew Daniel Patterson and Libby Schofield. This profile is of writer Joanne Light.
Joanne Light is a Nova Scotian writer, most recently of “In and Out of the Box/Stories of Teaching and Travelling”; Suzie, an Orphan Orangutan/A Very Sad and a Little Bit Happy Story; and Nomos: Shaping the Land/Physis: that Shapes Us. She has attended The Banff Centre literary arts program in the Advanced Writing Seminar and the Wired Writing Studio (in 2008 and 2010). She has published in Newfoundland Quarterly, Arc Poetry Magazine, Grain, Pierian Spring, Pottersfield Portfolio among others, and has performed in Saint John, Fredericton, northern Saskatchewan, Toronto at The Art Bar, Montreal at Idle No More Poetry, and in Halifax at the Lilah Kemp Reading Series.Joanne was a regular artist in residence at Elizabeth Bishop House Artist Retreat.

After Judy McFarlane heard Joanne read, she wrote: “Recently, I attended the Wired Writing program at the Banff Centre. Every few days, we had a reading night. We heard many wonderful pieces, but for me, one of the real highlights was hearing Joanne Light read/perform her poems. From the moment she announced the title, her  poems grabbed my attention, held it throughout, made me laugh, cry, moved me more than I thought possible. Her work is insightful, honest, funny, and, in my opinion, brilliant.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Poetry reading at EB Festival: Profile of Andrew Daniel Patterson

One of the exciting events that will take place at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival on 8 August 2015 will be a morning poetry reading with Joanne Light, Chad Norman, Andrew Daniel Patterson and Libby Schofield. This post is a profile of Andrew Daniel Patterson.

Andrew Patterson (http://andrewdanielpatterson.com/artistCV) is a writer/reader/listener living in Halifax, N.S. His poetry has been featured locally in The Periodical Project and The Impressment Gang, as well as abroad in Chicago’s The Hypocrite Reader. His most recent projects include a three-week residency at The School Of Making Thinking in East Branch, New York, and a public engagement audio piece as part of Secret Theatre’s Secret Residency in Halifax. Currently, Andrew is focusing on visual poetry, learning the art of letterpress at NSCAD’s Dawson Print Shop and developing a piece commissioned for a public sculpture to be mounted in early 2015.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

“Writing the World” – Conversations with writers at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival

One of the afternoon events at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival in Great Village, N.S., on 8 August 2015, is a conversation with four exceptional writers: John Barnstead, Binnie Brennan, Carole Langille and Harry Thurston. This conversation will be moderated by yours truly.

We will be profiling all these writers as the winter and spring progresses. This post features writer and sculptor Carole Langille.

Carole Glasser Langille is the author of four books of poetry, a collection of short stories and two children’s books and has been nominated for The Governor General’s Award in poetry, the Atlantic Poetry Prize, long-listed for the ReLit award in fiction, and has received “Our Choice Award” from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. In 2013 she was awarded The Established Artist Recognition Award. Carole has given readings and workshops in South Africa, India, Kauai and Paris. She teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. [Ed. Note: I have just learned from Carole that her collection of linked short stories I am what I am because you are what you are has been accepted by award-winning Nova Scotia publisher Gaspereau Press. It will appear in the fall of 2015.]
Carole in front of Shakespeare and Co., Paris
Carole is also a sculptor who makes use of one of the most expressive natural mediums in Nova Scotia: driftwood. Her whimsical driftwood people will be exhibited at the Craig Gallery (http://www.alderneylanding.com/gallery/), Dartmouth, N.S., from 24 June to 5 July 2015. The opening takes place Wednesday, 24 June, at 7 p.m. She will bring some of this cast of characters to the Elizabeth Bishop Festival.