Robert Lowell once remarked, "When Elizabeth Bishop's letters are published (as they will be), she will be recognized as not only one of the best, but one of the most prolific writers of our century." One Art is the magificent confirmation of Lowell's prediction. From several thousand letters, written by Bishop over fifty years—from 1928, when she was seventeen, to the day of her death, in Boston in 1979—Robert Giroux, the poet's longtime friend and editor, has selected over five hundred missives for this volume. In a way, the letters comprise Bishop's autobiography, and Giroux has greatly enhanced them with his own detailed, candid, and highly informative introduction. One Art takes us behind Bishop's formal sophistication and reserve, fully displaying the gift for friendship, the striving for perfection, and the passionate, questing, rigorous spirit that made her a great artist.