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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,[…]

Walking down the street is like a night at the opera, Collins says.

Billy Collins: I suppose . . .  Well, there’s a difference . . .  I should point out there’s a difference between the “me” that was autobiographically shaped and the persona that says my poems. 

New York has had no influence on my persona.  Well it’s influenced me, I suppose, that I grew up in a fairly cosmopolitan, crazy environment.  So I guess I’m not too easily impressed by eccentricity for one thing; since if you walk down one block in Manhattan, you see . . . you know, it’s like going to the opera.