Recently Jina sent me a link to an Animated Billy Collins Project in which his poetry is spoken with animation that captures the charm and wit of the poems. The project is showcased on Ted.com. I have always enjoyed Ted.com and Billy Collins who was one of the most fun parts of my MFA life in Southampton College. For me the most influential people during my MFA were Kit Hathaway, Indira Ganesan, and Roger Rosenblatt. Billy Collins was always a lot of fun to listen to because of his humor. On this clip on Ted.com he shares five poems that have been turned into animated films. I was lucky enough to meet some great people during my short MFA time and Kit Hathaway was the most influential mentor but Billy Collins was the most influential reader.
Billy Collins shares his poetry turned animated films on Ted.com
I used to work for Admissions at Southampton College as part of a fellowship that I received. The university paid for my MFA as long as I worked 20+ hours a week. I can no longer remember what they called it, an apprenticeship, a work-fellowship, a indentured serviceship. My original problem was that I overdid the charm on a phone interview and got the "best" position. Admissions. This meant doing these asshole open houses on Saturday mornings. I came into the university at 8 a.m. one of these Saturdays for what they called a meet-and-greet (whatever that is!) and said "Good Morning" to Kit and he replied: "You are not surly enough. That's why you can't write." It turns out I ended up spending hours with him in these jackass meet-and-beats that he didn't want to be at any more than I did, so we talked a lot of shop. He used to go on these long personally-insulting tirades about my writing, "But what does it all mean?" or "You're hurting my little head with all your intelligence!" or "You're just writing fiction in neater lines!" Listening to those tirades which grew more and more intimate and less and less insulting were probably the best part of my education. He explained simple things like the need for taking lots of walks, to remember to look at things, and to only use one verb per poem.