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."