Michael Collier Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Michael Collier has edited a number of anthologies, including The Wesleyan Tradition: Four Decades of American Poetry (1993), The New Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (1999; coedited with Stanley Plumly), and The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology (2000). He also published a collection of essays, Make Us Wave Back: Essays on Poetry and Influence (2007).


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Michael Collier was awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (1984 and 1994) as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. On the strength of his first volume of poetry, Collier received the Alice Day Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America. His landmark collection, The Ledge, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2000. He served as poet laureate of the state of Maryland from 2001 to 2004. In 2009, he won the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Henry, Brian. Review of The Ledge. The New York Times Book Review, April 30, 2000. This short, vituperative review uses most of its words to point to places where the reviewer finds fault with the book’s sentimentality and lack of insight. The reviewer begins to discuss “The Brave Sparrow” (“the book’s best poem”) but this brief review is closed before any insight can be gathered. There is one helpful point made in this review: a suggestion of where the “emotional intensity” of this book exists.

Longenbach, James. “Poetry in Review.” Yale Review 83 (October, 1995): 144-147. Places Collier within a school of contemporary academic poets.

Muske-Davis, Carol. “Out of the Cradle Violently Rocking: The New Young Poets—Review.” Kenyon Review (Summer/Fall, 2001). This discussion of three poetry anthologies published in 2000 gives an apt review of the aesthetic of Collier’s The New American Poets.

Reel, Monte. “Everyday Life, Uncommon Passion: Poet Laureate Offers New View.” The Washington Post, March 25, 2001, p. C5. Discusses Collier’s intention to become an ambassador for poetry throughout the state of Maryland.

Virginia Quarterly Review. Review of The Folded Heart. (Spring, 1990). This favorable review of Collier’s second book can help readers find clues into his symbolism as well as insights about the success of his narrative style.