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Westminster College Associate Professor to Discuss Author Elizabeth Bishop at Bleasby Colloquium

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College Department of English and Public Relations will feature three scholars discussing author Elizabeth Bishop at the Bleasby Colloquium Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. in the McKelvey Campus Center's Mueller Theater. The program is free to the public.

Bethany Hicok, associate professor of English at Westminster; Thomas Travisano, professor of English at Hartwick College; and Angus Cleghorn, professor of English at Seneca College will discuss the book they co-edited: Elizabeth Bishop in the 21st Century: Reading the New Editions. The three Bishop scholars also contributed essays to the book.

Bishop was a world traveler and a Pulitzer prize-winning poet, who lived almost two decades in Brazil in the 1950s and 1960s. In recent years, a series of major collections of Bishop's posthumous writings have been published, profoundly affecting how we look at her life and work. The hundreds of letters, poems and other writings in the new editions have expanded Bishop‘s published work by well over a thousand pages and placed before the public a "new" Bishop whose complexity was previously familiar to only a small circle of scholars and devoted readers. Hicok, Travisano and Cleghorn will discuss this "new" Bishop in their presentation. Books will be available for purchase.

Hicok, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2001, earned an undergraduate degree from Russell Sage College and two master's degrees and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.  She is the author of Degrees of Freedom: American Women Poets and the Women's College, 1905-1955. In addition to articles on Bishop, she has published articles on Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens, contributed chapters to three books and delivered papers on American poetry at professional conferences. She is also the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to study in Brazil and is working on a book on Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil.

Cleghorn is the author of Wallace Stevens' Poetics: The Neglected Rhetoric and editor of the Elizabeth Bishop Bulletin. Travisano is the author of one of the first book-length studies on Bishop, Elizabeth Bishop: Her Artistic Development. Most recently he is the principal editor of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. He is working on a biography of Bishop.

This colloquium is part of the George Bleasby Colloquia, a series of literary events in honor of the late Dr. Bleasby, who chaired the Department of English at Westminster from 1954-75.  These programs are presentations by the faculty of the department, featured speakers, and majors on individual scholarship, interests and creative projects.

Contact Dr. Brittany Rowe-Cernevicius, Westminster assistant professor of public relations and coordinator of the colloquium, at (724) 946-6024 or email for additional information.

Dr. Bethany Hicok, associate professor of English