Billy Collins: An Evening with the former U.S. Poet Laureate



Below is the original post made at Bud Bloom poetry, when it was possible to link to Billy Collins’ evening at UC Santa Barbara on September 15, 2003. In its stead, click on his picture to go to the Online Newshour show of Elizabeth Farnsworth’s December 10, 2001 interview of Billy Collins, in which he discusses poetry and reads two of them, “Introduction to Poetry” and “Design“.



Also, click on this photo collage to go to a site of Billy Collins action poetry, where you will find his poetry readings set to animation.



And you can click on the photo of his book “The Best Cigarette” to download it for free in its entirety.





Original post below.



[Now-unavailable video was here.]


UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures


Billy Collins

United States Poet Laureate, 2001-2003


“U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins delights a UCSB audience with his poetry which he sees as a ‘form of travel writing’ with humor as ‘a door into the serious.’ It is a door that many thousands of readers have opened with amazement and delight.”




3 responses to “Billy Collins: An Evening with the former U.S. Poet Laureate”

  1. Rus, I had never heard Collins’ s voice before. Perfect recording and pleasant listening. Thanks.

  2. Hi Paula,

    He’s very good, and as you might imagine, yet better in person. Sometime, then, when you can make it to the states, maybe we can find where Collins is speaking.

    It’s great to see you stopping in, and leaving a note behind.


  3. response to ny times sunday bk review article on wm logan
    « on: April 28, 2009, 07:48:49 AM » Quote Modify Remove

    sent this to wm logan after reading the ny times bk review this wkend- abt his scathing reviews of some other poets

    From: Eberhardt, David
    Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 1:12 PM
    To: ‘’
    Subject: FW: Dear Eds.

    From: Eberhardt, David
    Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 1:04 PM
    To: ‘’
    Subject: FW: Dear Eds.

    maybe u’ll get a kick out of this- naturally i’m sending u some of my stuff- but that’s snail mail

    you even got a drawing of yrself in the bk review- i’m thinking is he wall eyed? no- it’s hart crane’s revenge- you have a “seal’s spindrift wide eyed gaze towards paradise”?

    i sort of like the tough, mystical guys- robt bly, jack gilbert, rumi thru coleman barks- maybe i should take a look at yr. stuff- watch out- you’re gonna get some treetments

    actually- liking wilbur and merwin quite enuff- i’ll say this- wilbur is annoyingly classical and merwin too vaporous- look i can b like u-

    but actually- congratz- it takes a genius to recognize who is- and who isn’t

    one i really don’t like- ass berry

    From: Eberhardt, David
    Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 12:31 PM
    To: ‘’
    Subject: Dear Eds.

    Referencing the article by poet William Logan and his discontents with various poets in the Book Review of April 26: having heard our poetic God/grandfathers- Richard Wilbur in person recently and W.S. Merwin on the radio- I can only be glad that Logan hasn’t savaged them. Much of his targets deserve what he is dishing them- although- I think Hart Crane- he of the juicy, Latinate words and cadences- could be forgiven his obscurities, and Gary Snyder- who is rarely obscure- has a quite lapidary style that is not similar to choosing words like the ones on refridge magnets or Valentine’s heart shaped candies- Snyder’s work is allways (sp?) bracing and insightful.

    Logan is onto something in his criticisms; so much of contemporary poetry seems very little different from prose- it’s just prose broken into poetic looking lines (a technique started by Pound and Williams) , and few contemporary poets attempt anything deep. It mostly seems academic and cute- glazed over by a layer of faux insight. I think poetry should be amazing.

    I rarely hear poets discussing such subjects of interest as sex or death or finances- especially their own. I have yet to attend a reading where the poet discussed his or her ego involvement- in other words- there’s a lot of dishonesty and shallowness around in contemporary poetry. Logan has the moxie, the duende to strike a dissenting note- a rare thing in itself. How many reviews do you read where the writer really cuts loose? Are poets that fragile a group- that a little criticism might blow them away?

    Dave Eberhardt
    4 Hadley Sq. N.
    Baltimore, Md. 21218


    i also told logan that i liked the poet alan dugan

    i told him not to pick on billy collins too much- cuz billy is a nice guy- his lines aren’t so “embarrassing”- he is droll, he is witty, he is insightful, he is wry, he is all that

    i can think of some comical poems by louis/lewis carroll and edward lear that don’t get read much but are still funny- my favorite of course is “the dong w the luminous nose” (becuz of its secret pornographic text)

    dave -froginbog- in baltimore

    frog in bog

    Pages: [1]

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