April is known for many things: rain, Earth Day, opening day for Major League Baseball, but did you know that it is also poetry month? Take some time in the next week and a half to immerse yourself with artists of language. Here are some audiobook suggestions to help you along.
Billy Collins was the Poet Laureate for the United States from 2001 until 2003. He was also the Poet Laureate for New York State from 2004 until 2006. So, obviously he knows his way around a poem. In a unique recording done live from a benefit reading for WNYC radio. In BILLY COLLINS LIVE, Billy Collins reads 24 of his poems, including “Dharma” –a spiritual yet humbling ode to man’s best friend, “The Lanyard–an amusing recollection about the popular, if not pointless, summer camp pastime, and “Consolation” –a tongue-in-cheek reflection of a cancelled European trip, and the benefits of staying home instead. In addition to the poetry readings, Collins also spends some time in a brief question and answer session where he reflects on what makes good poetry, his own process of reaching his audiences as a poet, the success of his Poetry 180 programs in schools nationwide, and an amusing sidebar on his memories growing up as an only child.
If you like what you hear, mark your calendars, because Billy Collins has a new collection, AIMLESS LOVE, coming out in October.
Of course I can’t talk about poetry without mentioning the great Maya Angelou. Random House Audio is privileged to have many of Dr. Angelou’s collections available as downloads. To name a few: AMAZING PEACE, AND I STILL RISE, CELEBRATIONS, EVEN THE STARS LOOK LONESOME and WOULDN’T TAKE NOTHING FOR MY JOURNEY NOW. Please take the time to listen to one or all, and celebrate the genius of this woman! Additionally, Dr. Angelou has just released a new book about the relationship between her and her mother, titled MOM & ME & MOM. Narrated in her own voice, this is an intimate look at the workings of a complicated yet loving relationship. Though not poetry, Dr. Angelou has quite a way with words that makes even the most simple prose truly enlightening.
I hope these poets inspire you to write some of your own poetry! Who knows, maybe next April we’ll be featuring some of YOU!