Thursday, October 25, 2007

Letter from Elizabeth Bishop to Ferris Greenslet, December 18, 1946

I was very glad to receive the check for royalties. I have been told by several friends that they have been trying to get the book for Christmas presents at Brentano's and other bookstores and were unable to––but possibly this is a good sign. However, I have been rather disappointed not to see any Christmas advertising whatever since people do often give poetry for Christmas gifts, I believe.

What I am really writing about is to explain and apologize for a liberty I took quite recently. Someone suggested to me that I might try for a Guggenheim Fellowship, as a way of possibly coping with inflation. The idea had not occurred to me and it was already past the deadline, but they were willing to accept my application if I "acted promptly." So I went ahead and used your name as a "sponsor" and only trust that it may be all right with you. I am sure you are probably greatly bothered with such requests––but I was so late that you may very well not hear from them at all. Anyway I do hope it will be all right and not a nuisance to you.

I am sending you some prose works in a few days with the hopes that you may still consider some sort of travel book by me...


From One Art: Letters of Elizabeth Bishop, Selected and edited by Robert Giroux (Noonday Press / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994), p. 143

Note: And yes, Greenslet was kind enough to write on Bishop's behalf, and Bishop received a Guggenheim in 1947.


Blogger sam of the ten thousand things said...

This book truly shows what a great writer Bishop was. I was so pleased to follow "The Moose" in her letters. I also noted, having read every biography I could put my eyes to, that a few surviving letters had not been included. Still, amazing.

Also noticed the ad for your latest collection in P&W. Congratulations for you book, Greg.

8:02 AM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...


Thank you. I haven't seen the ad for the book. I'll have to check it out!

8:38 AM  

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