SPECIAL EVENT: Michael Collier in Conversation with David Biespiel | Mother Foucault's Bookshop | Friday May 10

Poet Michael Collier to give a rare reading in Portland.

Join Michael Collier -- poet, teacher, essayist, former poet laureate of Maryland, and former director of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference Michael Collier -- as he reads from his new book, My Bishop and Other Poems.

Collier sits down in conversation wtih Attic Institute founder David Biespiel. 


Michael Collier was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1953. He studied with William Meredith as an undergraduate at Connecticut College, and earned his MFA at the University of Arizona. Poet laureate of Maryland from 2001-2004, His books of poetry include The Clasp and Other Poems (1986), The Folded Heart (1989), The Neighbor (1995), The Ledge (2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Dark Wild Realm (2006).

Collier’s poems often reveal a fascination with objects and their significance; they are populated with, according to poet and critic James Longenbach, a “sinister and yet oddly comic cast of misfits, ogres and giants.” One of his poems from The Neighbor juxtaposes a map of Vietnam, bread balls, and fish hooks for catching bluegills; in “All Souls,” macabre, costumed revelers watching a raccoon are dressed as historical and political figures. Collier himself has noted, “I suppose… that I believe almost literally in Williams’ notion of ‘no ideas but in things.’ I’m a consumer. I like things.” Beyond the surfaces of the things and characters, Collier’s poems reach for moments of truth and clarity.

Michael Collier has received numerous awards for his poetry, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, an Academy Award in Literature, a Pushcart Prize, the Thomas Watson Fellowship, and a “Discovery”/The Nation award. He lives in Maryland.