Saturday, April 3, 2010

Billy Collins

The Trouble with Poetry, and other poems by Billy Collins (2005).  Writing about the previous occupants of his old farmhouse, the symbolism of statues, or the artificial friendship intimated by nametags on workers, Collins writes with poems with a vein of humor and a way of shifting perspective that forces the reader to look at the familiar in new ways.  He has a wonderful spoken delivery, as well (check out Billy Collins Live on our ListenAlaska audiobook service).
Collins is a New York poet, born and bred, who has taught at Lehman College in the Bronx for decades.  He was named U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2003) as well as the New York State Poet Laureate (2004-2006).  During his tenure as America's Poet Laureate, he introduced the program Poetry 180, which encouraged high schools to read one poem a day for the entire school year.  The poems selected for this program where collected in Poetry 180: a turning back to poetry (2003), and a follow-up volume 180 more: extraordinary poems for every day (2005).  The public library has both of these volumes, as well as other collections of Mr. Collins' work.

No comments: