Published on February 2nd, 20140
“Famous Poet” is an Oxymoron. . . Except . . .
New poets always hear their friends say things like, “Don’t forget me when you’re a famous,” or, “Someday you’re going to be a famous poet.”
But fame and poetry rarely go hand in and, at least on the level of pop culture.
Some fiction writers of literary merit have gone on to great fame, writers such as Cormac McCarthy, Barbara Kingsolver, Toni Morrison, but poets rarely break into popular culture.
Enter bestselling poet (yes, bestselling) Billy Collins. His poetry is accessible to most people because the language is simple and what he writes about is relatable to middle class white America.
He may not be the poet’s poet, but at least he’s getting poetry out there.
Who gets to read their poems on national TV, in front of a live studio audience?
Click on the image below to check out the famous poet on TV’s The Colbert Report.
Here’s an animated rending of a Billy Collins poem.
And finally, an interview he did with Daniel Chacón on an episode of Words on a Wire.
Next we’d like to see Natasha Tretheway, the current US Poet Laureate, read a poem on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Maybe we should write letters?