#TPQ5

#TPQ5: TAYLOR MALI

Billy Collins

After a reading, a woman told me I was “just like Billy Collins, except EVEN WORSE!” I like his recipe for poetry, which usually includes a generous dollop of humor, but also contains more serious flavors you might miss.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Her kindness is manifest in almost every line. And she writes so eloquently about happiness, which is not easy. Back in the early 90s she reassured a young graduate student that he would one day be a major force in American poetry, which was the encouragement I needed.

Mary Oliver

Like Billy, she gets dismissed sometimes for being too popular, but she has such spiritual authority and writes so beautifully from that space.

Danez Smith

They have wrought such gold from their life!

Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson’s touring schedule exhausts me just to look at! They write about the things that scare them but are not afraid to do so with humor.


TAYLOR MALI is a four-time National Poetry Slam champion and one of the original poets on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. The author of six books of poetry including Late Father & Other Poems, he is also the inventor of Metaphor Dice, a game that helps writers think more figuratively. He lives in Brooklyn. He was once the voice of all Burger King commercials.

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