Elizabeth Bishop Day

Commissioner Lissette Carey, Malcolm Willison, Mayor Teri Johnston, Mia Shawn, Vice Mayor Sam Kaufman, and Commissioner Billy Wardlow. Commissioner Mary Lou Hoover was in attendance via Zoom.

Mayor Teri Johnston and the Key West City Commission honored one of Key West’s famous poets by proclaiming February 8th as Elizabeth Bishop Day.

Bishop lived in Key West in the 1930s and 1940s and found inspiration, support, and solace in its subtropical flora, fauna, culture, and in the variety of its people.

Bishop’s poetic style underwent a lasting transformation in response to Key West’s unique environment, and she completed her first book, “North and South” while living in Key West.

Malcolm Willison and Mia Shawn, members of the Elizabeth Bishop Key West Committee, accepted the proclamation.

Willison explained that the committee was formed because there was concern that Bishop was overlooked as one of Key West’s great writers.

“She had a difficult life here, but she overcame it,” he said, noting that she left the city in 1949.

The proclamation noted that Bishop’s former home on White Street has been acquired by the Key West Literary Seminar and is being restored to preserve it as it was when she lived here.

In honor of the 113th anniversary of her birth, people gathered at the Gardens Hotel for a reading of her work and a celebration of her contribution to literature.

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