Pause for Poetry: A Reading by Billy Collins

Photo by Pete Wright

Photo by Pete Wright

Photo by Pete Wright

This week’s Pause for Poetry focuses on Billy Collins’ readings of his poems “Forgetfulness” and “The Country”.

Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003, is one of America’s bestselling poets. Known – and sometimes criticized – for his extremely accessible work, Collins has written 11 popular books and has seemingly won every imaginable literary award, despite his many critics.

In the following video readings, Collins work is accompanied by some innovative animation created by Julian Grey of Headgear Animation and Brady Baltezor of Radium Animation, respectively. 

With this in mind, let’s all hit the Pause button on our lives for a few minutes and watch some “action poetry” from Billy Collins.

Pause for Poetry: A Reading by Billy Collins



Filed under Pause for Poetry

3 responses to “Pause for Poetry: A Reading by Billy Collins

  1. Belladonnatella

    Hi there, I recently stumbled across the HeadGear animation for “Forgetfulness” as well and was blown away. Good to see it featured here, too.

    I know what you mean by calling Billy Collin’s work “accessible”, but IMHO, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    • Belladonnatella,
      I agree. I definitely prefer “accessible” poetry myself. I didn’t mean it as a bad thing, personally, but that critics tend to label his work that way (and they mean it as a bad thing). I think his work is great! And the videos just add something special to it.

      Thanks for visiting,

  2. Another great place to discover new poems is the new spoken word poetry album “Poetic License: 100 Poems/100 Performers” featuring Jason Alexander, Patti LuPone, Michael York, Kate Mulgrew, Paul Provenza and 95 other top performers reading a poem of their choosing. If you know anyone who claims that they don’t like poetry, you should get them this album so they can hear the magic that you already see on the page.
    For more info, to read the amazing reviews, or to purchase the album, visit
    “Poetic License” is available for purchase and preview on iTunes. Here’s a link to Part 1 of the album:

    More info:
    Said Trav S.D. on his blog Travalanche:
    “Three of my favorite poems happen to occur all in a row: Poe’s Annabel Lee, Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Tennyson’s Ulysses — it’s like back-to-back hits on the poetry Top 40. Furthermore, the indiscriminate mix of bold-faced names and literary classics produces more than usual interest. Florence Henderson reads Longfellow! Barbara Feldon reads Margaret Atwood! And a long list of others: Christine Baranksi, Jason Alexander, Cynthia Nixon, Charles Busch, Michael York, JoBeth Williams, Paul Provenza, Richard Thomas, Kate Mulgrew, etc etc etc.”

    More Links:
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