Audio: Elizabeth Bishop reads “The Fish” (text included)

Vox Populi


Elizabeth Bishop (1911 – 1979) was an American poet and short-story writer who was born in Massachusetts, raised in Nova Scotia, and lived for many years in Brazil with her partner Lota de Macedo Soares. Bishop was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry in 1956, the National Book Award winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976. Although not as widely known as many of the male poets of her generation, such as Theodore Roethke and John Berryman, Bishop’s restrained style and impeccable craft have had a strong influence on many American poets, most notably Robert Lowell, Kathleen Spivack, Dana Gioia, and Louise Glück. Like many of Bishop’s poems, “The Fish” is widely admired for its precise detailed description that evokes a struggle to discover a sense of belonging in…

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