Tuesday, November 18, 2014

An Evening with Billy Collins

Wearing a black suit and an orange shirt (Halloween was the night before), he looks around the room. “A poetry traffic jam is something I haven’t seen too often,” he sa7s. “This is wonderful.”

“He” is Billy Collins, two-time poet laureate of the United States. I tell my wife he’s one of the three poets in the United States who makes a living from poetry.

“Who are the other two?” she asks.

“I can’t remember their names offhand,” I reply.

We are sitting in the main room of the St. Louis Country Library in Frontenac, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Billy Collins is giving a poetry reading from his new work, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems.

More than 800 people are in the room. My wife and I have what is a “package ticket” – two admission tickets and a copy of the book for $20. The volume retails for $16 for the paperback (just over $12 on Amazon), so the package ticket is a good deal.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

1 comment:

Peggy said...

What a coincidence, Glynn. I also wrote a post celebrating Collins, just a few weeks ago, at Good Letters. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/goodletters/2014/10/billy-collinss-art-of-drowning/#more-7043
Or maybe it's not a coincidence; maybe, as more & more folks hear Collins read, they delight afresh in what poetry can do.
--Peggy Rosenthal