Not That Michael Collins

Poet, Teacher, Website Owner


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Reviews (so someone else can tell you not to read my book):

Interviews (because reviews aren't enough):

Available for Purchase Here.

"Michael Patrick Collins confronts the conflicts of the modern world with a mystic's intensity. The music in these poems, their fierce proclamations and sideways spirituality, remind me of James Wright, Trakl, or Rilke, but the voice in PSALMANDALA may speak with that authority and within the lyric poem's best traditions, but there is a strangeness here that is all new, and all this poet's, and this book is a thrilling find."

—Laura Kasischke

"I’m not sure how Michael Patrick Collins manages it—a collection that at once feels ancient and absolutely new, that can reference the “interwebs” and Tartarus in a single gesture, can address Death as a “sociopathic jackwagon” whose realm is a “psychotic little kleptocracy” and make me laugh and weep my ass off and search the interwebs so I don’t feel so stupid. Just when I’m ready to compare him to Eliot I’m spinning out in the territory of e.e. cummings, where Collins smooshes words together into goofyaccurate compounds—troubadubescent? homeosociopath?—that make my right brain collide with my left. Devotional as a psalm, circuitous as a mandala, Psalmandala is a hybrid work of shamanic genius. It ought to blow up poetryworld and the “corpseworld” of America like “Song of Myself” and “Howl” did in their time. I beseech thee to let these poems apocalypse you."

—Diane Seuss 

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Winner of the 2014 Exact Change Press Chapbook Contest

Winner of the 2014 Exact Change Press Chapbook Contest

Available for Purchase Here.

As exquisitely designed as a mandala itself, Michael Collins’ Harbor Mandala vividly captures a soul’s search for itself at Mamaroneck Harbor, “this rough, slumbering sanctuary where nature redreams itself.” This poet settles for no sentimental redemption (“redreams,” not “redeems”): the soul finds itself in the rough, ordinary world: “a bird dragging / branches up to the top of the flood lights / of the baseball diamond.” Mandalas are sometimes painted in sand by monks knowing their gorgeous image will be washed away. Harbor Mandala brilliantly probes the paradox of a world where the beauty of nature includes “clams’ shells cast down / to be shattered by hungry gulls,” while a gasoline spill’s reflection reveals the beauty of “that awful light.”

Robert Thomas

What could be more certain and yet more changing than the tides? Michael Collins’ piercing vision settles on a harbor offering solace, yet is also a place where it is difficult to distinguish between what is real, what is reflection. Although the speaker longs for wholeness, the poems themselves are often in two columns “. . . the between within which I listen.” Here is a mirrored world that leaves “. . . halves of clam shells / lined up like tombstones.” These deeply meditative poems, that explore the cycle of life and death, echo Yeats’ own observation that “There is another world but it is in this one.”

Gail Peck, author of Within Two Rooms


Available for Purchase Here.

“ ‘Stuffed with the stuff that is coarse, and stuffed with the stuff that is fine,’ this book enacts the obsessive/compulsive (and impulsive) world of all of us poets (past and present) who are also close-readers of ourselves.  Collins’ remarkably handsome use of the line and his freedom to let poems live as sequences of breath remind us poems are alive.”  —Christian Anton Gerard

“…an intelligent, snarky and witty compilation of poems circling the themes of growth, acceptance and consciousness with nods to the smiles from tongue kissing in a dark, parked car, the acceptance that comes with the realization that you will never sleep with Natalie Portman, and wisdom.”

Stephanie Bryant-Anderson, Red Paint Hill Quarterly

Copyright 2015 by Michael P. Collins