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Book cover for Water, Water by Billy Collins

Water, Water


From the former United States Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author of Aimless Love, a wondrous new collection of poems focused on the joy and mystery of daily life.

"A poet of plentitude, irony, and Augustan grace."—The New Yorker

"Collins remains the most companionable of poetic companions."—The New York Times

In these sixty new poems, Billy Collins mixes the straightforward and the elusive to write about the beauties and ironies of everyday experience. A poem is best, he feels, when it begins in clarity and ends with a whiff of mystery. In Water, Water we learn how vigilance and a respect for the peripheral can result in moments of interest and delight. A cat leans to drink from a swimming pool; a nurse calls a name in a waiting room; an astronaut recites Emily Dickinson from outer space—such common and uncommon events are captured here with equal fascination. In a voice both conversational and melodic, hospitable and lyrical, informal but steadied by form, this poet asks us to tap the brakes and slow down so as to glimpse the elevated in the ordinary, the odd in the familiar. It’s no surprise that The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both call Collins one of America’s favorite poets.

The Monet Conundrum

Is every one of these poems
different from the others
he asked himself,
as the rain quieted down,

or are they all the same poem,
haystack after haystack
at different times of day,
different shadows and shades of hay?

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Whale Day

Billy Collins’s new collection brings together more than fifty poems and showcases his deft mixing of the playful and the serious that has made him one of our country’s most celebrated and widely read poets.

The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins

The Rain in Portugal

Collins’s twelfth collection of poetry offering over fifty new poems that showcase the generosity, wit, and imaginative play that prompted The Wall Street Journal to call him “America’s favorite poet.”

Aimless Love by Billy Collins

Aimless Love

Aimless Love combines fifty new poems with generous selections from his four most recent books—Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead.

Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins

Horoscopes for the Dead

Billy Collins is widely acknowledged as a prominent player at the table of modern American poetry. And in this smart, lyrical, and mischievous collection of poetry, which covers the everlasting themes of love and loss, youth and aging, solitude and union, Collins’s verbal gifts are on full display.

Ballistics by Billy Collins


In this moving and playful collection, Billy Collins touches on an array of subjects—love, death, solitude, youth, and aging—delving deeper than ever before into the intricate folds of life.

The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins

The Trouble with Poetry

Playfulness, spare elegance, and wit epitomize the poetry of Billy Collins. With his distinct voice and accessible language, America’s two-term Poet Laureate has opened the door to poetry for countless people for whom it might otherwise remain closed.

Billy Collins Live by Billy Collins, Billy Collins, Bill Murray

Billy Collins Live

In this exclusive audio publishing event, Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate, shares an evening of his poetry in a benefit reading for WNYC, New York Public Radio. Often compared to Robert Frost, his poetry has been embraced by people of all ages and backgrounds, and his readings are most often standing room only.

180 More by Billy Collins

180 More

Collins continues his ambitious mission of exposing readers of all ages to the best of today’s poetry. Here are another 180 hospitable, engaging, reader-friendly poems, offering surprise and delight in a wide range of literary voices–comic, melancholy, reflective, irreverent. If poetry is the original travel literature, this anthology contains 180 vehicles ready to carry you away to unexpected places.

Poetry 180 by Billy Collins, Billy Collins

Poetry 180

A dazzling new anthology of 180 contemporary poems, selected and introduced by America’s Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.

Inspired by Billy Collins’s poem-a-day program with the Library of Congress, Poetry 180 is the perfect anthology for readers who appreciate engaging, thoughtful poems that are an immediate pleasure.

Nine Horses by Billy Collins

Nine Horses

The poems in this collection reach dazzling heights while being firmly grounded in the everyday. Traveling by train, lying on a beach, and listening to jazz on the radio are the seemingly ordinary activities whose hidden textures are revealed by Collins’s poetic eye.

Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins

Sailing Alone Around the Room

New poems and a generous gathering from his earlier collections The Apple That Astonished Paris, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning. These poems show Collins at his best, performing the kinds of distinctive poetic maneuvers that have delighted and fascinated so many readers.

Billy Collins

About Billy Collins

Billy Collins is the author of twelve collections of poetry including Whale Day, The Rain in Portugal, Aimless Love, Horoscopes for the Dead, Ballistics, The Trouble with Poetry, Nine Horses, Sailing Alone Around the Room, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning. He is also the editor of Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds. A former Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York, Collins served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003 and as New York State Poet from 2004 to 2006. In 2016 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Florida with his wife Suzannah.

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