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Words in Air

Words in Air

Out Of Stock
ISBN
9780571243082
Published
06/11/2008
9780571243082
Format
Hardback
Price
£40.00
Paperback
928

About the Book

When first introduced to Robert Lowell in 1947, Elizabeth Bishop wrote that 'he was living in a basement room on Third Avenue . . . and was rather untidy. He was wearing a rumpled dark blue suit . . . I took to him at once.' Lowell was equally taken by Bishop, and thought she had 'more to offer, I think, than anyone writing poems in English'. The candid, affectionate, constrained and loving friendship of the two American poets is recorded in letters written over three decades. It begins after the publication of their first books, when they were 'as mischievous as children about the figures they held most in awe' (David Kalstone), and ends only with Lowell's death. The letters also record the complications of each other's lives - Lowell's mental illness, Bishop's struggles with alcohol, their mutually crossed love affairs. In their now celebrated correspondences, they performed best for one another, as the drama of their public and private lives unfolded.
When first introduced to Robert Lowell in 1947, Elizabeth Bishop wrote that 'he was living in a basement room on Third Avenue . . . and was rather untidy. He was wearing a rumpled dark blue suit . . . I took to him at once.' Lowell was equally taken by Bishop, and thought she had 'more to offer, I think, than anyone writing poems in English'. The candid, affectionate, constrained and loving friendship of the two American poets is recorded in letters written over three decades. It begins after the publication of their first books, when they were 'as mischievous as children about the figures they held most in awe' (David Kalstone), and ends only with Lowell's death. The letters also record the complications of each other's lives - Lowell's mental illness, Bishop's struggles with alcohol, their mutually crossed love affairs. In their now celebrated correspondences, they performed best for one another, as the drama of their public and private lives unfolded.
  • Robert Lowell

    Robert Lowell (1917-1977) was born in Boston. He was recognised as an accomplished poet in his own lifetime, and along with Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman and Sylvia Plath he created the fashion and generated the force of American poetry over the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Life Studies, published in 1959, marked a watershed. It initiated an autobiographical project which would dominate his oeuvre thereafter, and is now regarded as one of the most influential books of the century. He received a Pulitzer Prize for Lord Weary's Castle (1946) and another for The Dolphin (1973).

  • Edited By: Saskia Hamilton

    Saskia Hamilton is the author of three books of poetry, including Corridor (2014). She is the editor of The Letters of Robert Lowell (2005) and The Dolphin: Two Versions, 1972–1973 (2019), and co-editor of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (2008). She teaches at Barnard College. 

  • Edited By: Thomas Travisano

    Thomas Travisano is the author of Elizabeth Bishop: Her Artistic Development and Midcentury Quartet: Bishop, Lowell, Jarrell, Berryman and the Making of a Postmodern Aesthetic. He is co-editor of Gendered Modernisms: American Women Poets and Their Readers and the New Anthology of American Poetry (for Rutgers University Press). He is co-founder and first president of the Elizabeth Bishop Society and is Babcock Professor of English at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.

Books by this Author

Poetry Robert Lowell

Robert Lowell

Robert Lowell

Collected Poems

Collected Poems

Robert Lowell

Poetry Life Studies

Life Studies

Robert Lowell

Poetry New Selected Poems

New Selected Poems

Robert Lowell