Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) was born in Massachussetts. Her father died when she was very young, and as a result of the heartbreak, her mother was committed to an institution in 1916. Bishop never reunited with her mother and was subsequently raised by her grandparents. Though she dabbled with poetry while in school, Bishop left home to attend Vassar College for music composition in 1929. After suffering a bout of stage fright, she changed her focus to English literature. Following her graduation from college, Bishop spent the rest of her life traveling, writing poetry, and teaching at various colleges around the United States. She is the 1976 laureate of the Neustadt Prize.