Since 1996, the Academy of American Poets has declared that April is National Poetry Month. In honor of that, I’ll be celebrating poetry every Wednesday in April with a poem by my favorite poet, Billy Collins. So far, I’ve posted “Marginalia”, “On Turning Ten”, “Bar Time”, and “Dancing Toward Bethlehem.” Read on for the final post!
Instead of posting a poem for my final installment of Billy Collins fandom, I’m just going to point out a few other places online where you can get your Billy Collins fix.
While doing a little research last week, I came across a site where you can download mp3’s of Collins reading some of his own poetry — The Best Cigarette. If you’ve enjoyed reading Collins’ poetry this month, I encourage you to go to the site and listen to a few of the pieces.
I was curious how many books of poetry Collins has written, so I also found a bibliography of Collins’ books so you know what to look for you if you want to read more for yourself. His works include: Ballistics (2008), She Was Just Seventeen (2006), The Trouble with Poetry (2005), Nine Horses (2002), Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001), Picnic, Lightning (1998), The Art of Drowning (1995), Questions About Angels (1991), The Apple That Astonished Paris (1988), Video Poems (1980), and Pokerface (1977).
Collins is also part of Poetry 180, a Library of Congress initiative to give high school students a poem a day to read. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of the 180 poems (it’s near the bottom of the page).
And finally, a quote from poet Stephen Dunn about why Billy Collins is so awesome:
We seem to always know where we are in a Billy Collins poem, but not necessarily where he is going. I love to arrive with him at his arrivals. He doesn’t hide things from us, as I think lesser poets do. He allows us to overhear, clearly, what he himself has discovered.
I hope you enjoyed my National Poetry Month tribute to Billy Collins! Has reading his poetry inspired you to seek it out for yourself? Any other favorite “readable” poets you think people should know about?