Dr. Thomas Travisano

Viking to Explore Bishop with Hartwick’s Travisano

May 7, 2014

According to a recent announcement from Publishers Weekly, Kathryn Court at Viking took world English rights, at auction, to Hartwick College Professor of English Dr. Thomas Travisano's Love Unknown: The Life and Worlds of Elizabeth Bishop.

Agent Wendy Strothman, at the Strothman Agency, brokered the deal for Travisano, who edited FSG's 2008 book, Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008). In Love Unknown, Travisano, who won a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship to support his work on this new biography, will, Strothman said, paint a picture of the famous poet as a woman who "lived a singular and adventurous life" while creating a "magnificent" body of work.

"Without realizing it, at first, I've been preparing to write a biography of Bishop for my entire career," said Travisano. "I'm very pleased to be working on this book with a leading trade press and with Kathryn Court, who I understand is one of the best editors in the business."

Travisano specializes in modern and contemporary American literature and in American poetry. He is particularly well known for his critical and editorial work on the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), Robert Lowell (1917-1977), and the poets of their generation. Along with many articles, Professor Travisano has published such books as Elizabeth Bishop: Her Artistic Development (Virginia, 1988) and Midcentury Quartet: Bishop, Lowell, Jarrell, Berryman and the Making of a Postmodern Aesthetic (Virginia, 1999). He is co-editor of Gendered Modernisms: American Women Poets and Their Readers (Pennsylvania, 1996).

His volume of Bishop and Lowell correspondence, Words in Air, was a critical triumph that made significant strides in illuminating the lives and work of both poets. Travisano is co-founder and first president of the Elizabeth Bishop Society. The most recent of his eight previous books are the co-edited New Anthology of American Poetry, volume 3: Postmodernisms and the co-edited Elizabeth Bishop in the 21st Century: Reading the New Editions, both of which were issued in spring of 2012.Volume One of The New Anthology appeared in 2003 and was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice.

For more information on the project, please contact Travisano at 607-431-4907 or

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031