This article argues for the importance of the friendship between Elizabeth Bishop and James Merrill when it came to each poet’s ongoing professional development, especially during the 1970s, when their friendship was at its height. The article contends that not only was Bishop instrumental in Merrill’s poetic development, as has already been well-established, but that Merrill was equally influential to Bishop in her last decade, a point that has yet to be made. Through a reading of their correspondence across three decades, in addition to readings of several of their travel poems, the article reveals the significant extent to which the two poets took comfort not only in each other, but in each other’s work, as well.

You do not currently have access to this content.