Billy Collins
Poet; Former U.S. Poet Laureate
02:45

Reaching Your Audience

To embed this video, copy this code:

Each poem is a journey, and the reader is meant to come along.

Billy Collins

One of the most popular living poets in the United States, Billy Collins was born in New York City in 1941. Collins is the author of nine books of poetry, including She Was Just Seventeen (2006), The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems (2005), Nine Horses (2002), and Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001). His work appears regularly in such periodicals as Poetry, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Harper's Magazine, and has been featured in various textbooks and anthologies, including those for the Pushcart Prize and the annual Best American Poetry series. Between 2001 and 2004, Collins served two terms at the 11th Poet Laureate of the United States. In his home state, Collins has been recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004. Other honors include fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and the first annual Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College in the Bronx, where has taught for over thirty years. Ideas recorded at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival on: 7/4/07
Transcript

Topic: Reaching Your Audience

 

Billy Collins: Whatever impact my work has is, it’s either comic relief or probably mental _______ somewhat in that I see these poems as little acts of travel, or little acts of imaginative journeying, or looking through the woods for something and finding a clearing at the end of a poem. And to be able to take people on that little ride, I imagine it’s pleasurable for them because it gives pleasure for me. And since I’m the first one to take the ride, I figure others would enjoy it too.

But I don’t see any impact beyond that. I don’t think you can think about that and still write, or still play or whatever your form of expression is. You do it and then it falls into the world. And the fact that the world doesn’t completely ignore it is probably enough feedback for one.

 


×