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“It’s an interesting question … how to get a poem going,” says world-class poet Billy Collins. Sometimes, it can be challenging to develop ideas for a new poem, especially with the blank page looming in front of you. Here are a few of Billy’s recommendations for “active way[s] to go about jump-starting or triggering your writing.”

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A Brief Introduction to Billy Collins

Billy Collins is an American poet who has managed to do something few poets can achieve—combine high critical acclaim with broad popular appeal. His work has appeared in a variety of literary magazines, including The New Yorker, the Paris Review, and the American Scholar, and three of his poetry collections have broken sales records for poetry. A few of his poetry collections include Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems, Nine Horses, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, Ballistics, Horoscopes for the Dead, She Was Just Seventeen (a collection of haikus), and Picnic, Lightning. He served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 until 2003, and as the Poet Laureate of New York State from 2004 to 2006.

Billy Collins Shares a Handy Prompt to Kickstart Your Writing

Billy Collins’s 5 Tips for Finding Ideas for New Poems

Here are some poetry writing prompts and tips from legendary Poet Laureate Billy Collins to help you get started on your next poem or