Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins was on our KQED Forum last week to discuss his new anthology, Horoscopes of the Dead.

Afterwards, KQED News Interactive Producer Amanda Stupi asked him what he thought, as a poet, of social media. The conversation then turned to the representation of poetry in electronic form.

“A poem is a piece of sculpture in words,” Collins said. Mess around with the typeface or the line breaks, and some poems will become “unrecognizable.”

On a New York Times assignment to write a Twitter poem, an experience he called identical to trying to write a sonnet:

For the full Forum segment, listen below:

Video: Poet Billy Collins on Social Media, Twitter, and Poetry 11 April,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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