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Arts & Life

Poet Billy Collins Speaks in Des Moines

Marcelo Noah

During this Talk of Iowa segment, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Fmr. U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins about his latest work and his writing style. He admits that despite common perceptions about poetry, his poems don’t contain much rhyming.


“I write with my ear. I want to make poems sound good and there are lots of ways to do that without having a formal rhyme. Charles Wright defined poetry as, ‘language that means more and sounds better,' and I really think those are the two ingredients. Poetry just sounds better than non-poetry.”


Collins has received numerous awards such as the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award and currently teaches in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton. Collins has published 15 collections of poetry, most recently The Rain in Portugal.


He is delivering tonight's Bucksbaum Lecture at Drake University. Collins’ lecture will be held at 7 PM at the Knapp Center this evening. No tickets or reservations are required to attend. The event will also be streamed live online.