Saturday, 6 September 2008

The Best Cigarette

1 comment:

Paul said...

I found this fantastic animated version of Billy Collins' poem on YouTube. When I originally uploaded it, I was upbraided by a friend for not including a bit more information. So, for his benefit and yours, here is an extract from the entry for Billy Collins on Wikipedia:

William James "Billy" Collins was born in New York City on March 22, 1941. He is a distinguished professor of English at Lehman College in the Bronx, where he joined the faculty in 1968 and has taught for over thirty years. Collins was named U.S. Poet Laureate in 2001 and held the title until 2003. He served as Poet Laureate for the State of New York from 2004 until 2006.

In 1997, he recorded The Best Cigarette (ISBN 0-9658873-0-8), a collection of 34 of his poems that would become a bestseller. In 2005, the CD was re-released under a Creative Commons license, allowing free, non-commercial distribution of the recording.

Over the years, Poetry magazine has awarded him several prizes in recognition of poems they publish. During the 1990s, Collins won five such prizes. The magazine also selected him as "Poet of the Year" in 1994. In 2005 Collins was the first annual recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry, bestowed by the Poetry Foundation (Poetry Magazine). He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 1993, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.