‘The Rain in Portugal’ ~ Poet Billy Collins, Speaking in Bedford on Thursday, October 19

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Poet Billy Collins will read from his twelfth volume of poetry, The Rain in Portugal,  in the sanctuary at First Parish on Bedford Common at 7:30 pm on Thursday, October 19.  Dubbed “America’s Favorite Poet” by the Wall Street Journal, and US Poet Laureate from 2001 through 2003, Collins will be introduced by local poet (and former Bedford resident) X.J. Kennedy.

Admission, $16, includes a copy of the new paperback edition of Collins’ twelfth book, The Rain in Portugal.   Reservations are available online at https://billycollins-fpbedford.eventbrite.com. Seating is limited, so early reservations are suggested.

Author of twelve volumes of poetry, Billy Collins is famous for conversational, witty poems that welcome readers with humor but often slip into quirky, tender or profound observations on the everyday, reading and writing, and poetry itself.

The Rain in Portugal—a title that admits he’s not much of a rhymer—sheds Collins’s ironic light on such subjects as travel and art, cats and dogs, loneliness and love, beauty and death. His tones range from the whimsical—“the dogs of Minneapolis . . . / have no idea they’re in Minneapolis”—to the elegiac in a reaction to the death of Seamus Heaney. A student of the everyday, here Collins contemplates a weather vane, a still life painting, the calendar, and a child lost at a beach. His imaginative fabrications have Shakespeare flying comfortably in first class and Keith Richards supporting the globe on his head. By turns entertaining, engaging, and enlightening, The Rain in Portugal amounts to another chorus of poems from one of the most respected and familiar voices in the world of American poetry. —  From the hardcover edition of The Rain in Portugal

Praise for The Rain in Portugal

  • “Imaginative thinking gives this collection its richness. . . . The work also shows a variety of styles . . . [that provide] both pleasure and a vivid example of how one’s thoughts, when unrestrained, can lead to unexpected destinations.”—The Washington Post
  • The Rain in Portugal reminds us of the importance of wishes, and that as long as we have poetry, we are not alone.”—O Magazine
  • “Disarmingly playful and wistfully candid.”—Booklist (starred review)
First Parish is located at 75 The Great Road, on the Bedford Town Common, and is fully handicapped accessible. For more information, call 781-275-7994 or visit uubedford.org.

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