Winner of the 1999 Paterson Poetry Prize Over the past decade, Billy Collins has emerged as the most beloved American poet since Robert Frost, garnering critical acclaim and broad popular appeal. Annie Proulx admits, "I have never before felt possessive about a poet, but I am fiercely glad that Billy Collins is ours." John Updike proclaims his poems "consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides." This special, limited edition celebrates Billy Collins's years as U.S. Poet Laureate. Picnic, Lightning --one of the books that helped establish and secure his reputation and popularity during the 1990s--combines humor and seriousness, wit and sublimity. His poems touch on a wide range of subjects, from jazz to death, from weather to sex, but share common ground where the mind and heart can meet. Whether reading him for the first time or the fiftieth, this collector's edition is a must-have for anyone interested in the poet the New York Times calls simply "the real thing."
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(204mm x 155mm x 9mm)
University of Pittsburgh Press
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
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US Kirkus Review »
The sixth book of poems by the Lehman College professor has the same carefree, if not careless, sensibility of his earlier work. His catalogues of everyday moments-a jazz riff heard, a book passage remembered, a bird contemplated-aspire to a Frank O'Hara-like chattiness. But Collins (in poems such as "I Chop Some Parsley While Listening to Art Blakely's Version of 'Three Blind Mice' ") lacks that great cosmopolitan's jaunty bop and charm. Collins's semirural musings rely on mundane imagery (night is "black and silky"; the woods are "dense green") and his regular-guy, Buddhist-joker pose-which can be funny, though he's never particularly witty or ironic. These forty-odd poems that celebrate the ephemeral seem, appropriately, dashed-off and therefore forgettable. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Billy Collins
Billy Collins, named U.S. Poet Laureate in June 2001 and reappointed to the post in 2002, has published many collections of poetry, including The Apple That Astonished Paris; Nine Horses; The Art of Drowning; Picnic, Lightning; Questions about Angels; and Sailing Alone Around the Room. A professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, he lives in Somers, New York."