Billy Collins has been called “The most popular poet in America” by the New York Times. When he moved from the University of Pittsburgh Press to Random House, the advance he received shocked the poetry world—a six-figure sum for a three-book deal, virtually unheard of in poetry. The deal secured for Collins through his literary agent, Chris Calhoun, then of Sterling Lord Literistic, with the editor Daniel Menaker, remained the talk of the poetry world, and indeed the literary world, for quite some time.
- The crowd was clearly familiar with Collins’ poetry, which is marked by observation, straightforward language and humor.
- And I mean not just stuff you find in magazines but if you really want to be trained in poetry you need to read Milton — you need to read Paradise Lost.
- “When I was a younger poet I would do what Frost said you can’t do, which is fret a poem into being … and I gave up on that a long time ago.
“The crowd was clearly familiar with Collins’ poetry, which is marked by observation, straightforward language and humor. But they peppered the poet with questions about the stuff even die-hard fans don’t get to see: the work that went into the words.”