Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Writing Wisdom from Billy Collins

These are some gems I gathered 
while in Billy Collins' workshop at
 the Southampton Writers' Conference.
  • "You have to tell a little lie--that you love poetry more than yourself."
  •  "Daydreaming is our [the poets'] job."
  •  "Allow distractions, don't shoo them away. They may be knocking on the door of your poem."
  •  "Your poem ends when the reader stops reading."
  • "It's a kind of compensatory love we're seeking, and it's a kind of neurosis."
  •  "Poetry is the displacement of silence."
  •  "Your voice has an external source. It lies on the library shelf. You find your voice by reading other poets."
  •  "Literary influence is actually jealousy."
  •  "Writers are people who have been moved to writing by reading."
  •  "Prose is like water. It fits any shape it's poured into. Poetry is like sculpture."
  • "The pen is an instrument of discovery."