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The Best Cigarette-Billy Collins

  • Title: The Best Cigarette
  • Author: Billy Collins
  • Released: 1997-09-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 0
  • ISBN: 0965887308
  • ISBN13: 978-0965887304
  • ASIN: 0965887308

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Review I have never before felt possessive about a poet but I am fiercely glad that Billy Collins is ours -- smart, his strings tuned and resonant, his wonderful eye looping over the things, events and ideas of the world, rueful, playful, warm-voiced, easy to love. (E. Annie Proulx)

"Nobody else today writes quite like Collins and few indeed write any better." (X.J. Kennedy)

"Billy Collins writes lovely poems...limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides." (John Updike)

"Graceful, ironic, smart." (William Matthews)

"Billy Collins is an American original" (Edward Hirsch)

"Luring his readers into the poem with humor, Mr. Collins leads them unwittingly into deeper, more serious places, a kind of journey from the familiar or quirky to unexpected territory, sometimes tender, often profound" (The New York Times 11/30/97)

"Wonderful! I love Billy's 'music'" (Dr. Robert Coles)

"Enchanting!" (Susan Bergman)

"Superb!" (Emmet Gowin)

"A beautifully rendered collection. I can't ever recall ever laughing out loud so much while listening to poems" (Dr. David Cramer)

"No freshly encountered poet since Frank O'Hara has given me, as a common reader, more unalloyed pleasure." (Warner Berthoff, Boston Book Review)

"One of the richest imaginations around...the affectionate humor with which Mr. Collins regards his surroundings amounts to a powerful kind of love, a reverence of the moment" (The Washington Times)

"this CD is terrific...a great delight. Billy was, needless to say, the greatest sensation we've ever had at SGPF." (Rennie McQuilkin, Director, Sunken Garden Poetry Festival)

"Billy Collins is the essence of all that is alive in contemporary poetry - innovative, humorous, versatile and always aware, grounded in tradition and human experience, he grabs the essence of his subject with vitality, caressing till it speaks to us." (Chris Buckley-Rohrer, KOPN, Missouri)

"Unpretentious, funny and good." (Ira Glass, This American Life)

"The recording is delightful, capturing Billy's wit and easygoing approach...To have truly funny poetry is so refreshing. This will make listeners very, very happy." (Martha Wiseman, Northshire Books, VT)

"We played it while taking my 14-year-old to camp and were pleasantly surprised when an hour or so after playing it, she wanted to hear it again." (Reagan Upshaw)

Billy Collins is a very funny guy, but while his voice (to rip from its careful context one of his own lines) "sounds in places very casual, very blue jeans", it embraces within the artful reach of the poetic lines that carry it a great range of reading and observation. Take the poem "Marginalia", in which we meet Duns Scotus and James Baldwin, an egg-salad dripping, love-struck attendant of Catcher in the Rye, and, most memorable to me, Irish monks in their scriptoria, scribbling private notes in the margins of the gospels: "anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves." Be his subject poetry workshops or forgetfulness, saxophones or cows, canceling a vacation or nursing a hangover, Collins shapes his poems with a gentle but incisive humor that is ingratiating, intelligent, and, quite often, inspired. In the nearly three dozen poems he reads on this compact disc, the immediate genius of a stand-up comic is joined to the slow intelligence--the layering of life and learning--of an accomplished poet. He's been my companion on the best car rides of the past few weeks, and I'll be listening to him again tonight. Highly recommended (The Common Reader) -- Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author Billy Collins is the author of five books of poetry including The Art of Drowning (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995), The Apple That Astonished Paris (University of Arkansas Press, 1988), and Questions About Angels (William Morrow & Co., 1991), which was selected by Edward Hirsch for the National Poetry Series. E. Hirsch praised The Art of Drowning: "Billy Collins is an American original, a metaphysical poet with a funny bone and a sly questioning intelligence. He is an ironist of the void and his poems -- witty, playful, and beautifully turned -- bump up against the deepest human mysteries." The recording of his poetry, The Best Cigarette (Cielo Vivo Press, 1997), has been heard on NPR, Pacifica Radio network, and dozens of college radio stations across the country. The compact disc won the 1997 Communication Arts Design Annual Prize for Audio/Visual Packaging and has sold more than 1,000 copies.

Collins' poetry has appeared in anthologies, textbooks, and a variety of periodicals including Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The American Scholar, Harper's, The Paris Review and The New Yorker. His poems was selected for The Best American Poetry 1992, 1993 and 1997. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has also won the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, and the Levinson Prize--all awarded by Poetry magazine. In 1992 he was chosen by the New York Public Library to serve as "Literary Lion. For several years he has conducted summer poetry workshops at University College, Galway. He is poet-in-residence at Burren College of Art in Ireland and professor of English at Lehman College (CUNY). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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