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Guilty Knowledge, Guilty PleasureThe Dirty Art of Poetry$
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William Logan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166867

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166867.001.0001

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Elizabeth Bishop at the New Yorker

Elizabeth Bishop at the New Yorker

(p.243) Elizabeth Bishop at the New Yorker
Guilty Knowledge, Guilty Pleasure

William Logan

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker, which features some forty years of exchanges between the editors of The New Yorker magazine and Bishop. The major theme of these letters is, of all things, punctuation. Despite graduating from Vassar, Bishop was a haphazard and cruelly inventive minder of stops. And it was up to her editors, chiefly Katharine White and later Howard Moss, to puzzle out her meanings and clarify her unintentional ambiguities. The letters also offer a rare view into The New Yorker's inner chambers, as well as a workshop in editing, an editor's chief requirement being a talent for diplomacy.

Keywords:   Elizabeth Bishop, New Yorker, poets, letters, reviews, magazine editors, punctuation

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