Edwize logo
Table of contents
Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
Billy Collins Masterclass Review

Billy Collins Masterclass Review: Is It Worth It?

The range of courses that are offered by Masterclass is super broad. You can learn almost anything through the streaming platform. From how to cook to how to be a successful leader.

The best thing is, all these courses are taught by experts in their respective fields so you know that you are getting the best insight into your chosen course.

In this Billy Collins Masterclass review article, we are going to look into the course taught by Billy Collins.

Who Is Billy Collins?

Billy Collins is a former US poet laureate who is known and loved for his wit and wisdom. He has been dubbed the most popular poet in America by the New York Times. Billy Collins’ poems are known for their conversational style and razor-sharp wit.

They have been described as being welcoming to the reader through the use of humor. However, his poems tend to morph into quirky, tender, or profound observations on the everyday and on the topic of reading and writing poetry itself.

What Is Billy Collins’ Masterclass About?

Billy Collins teaches reading and writing poetry. It might not seem like being taught to read poetry would be necessary, however, there are a lot of nuances that go into writing poetry that requires a certain eye to pick up on.

It is also crucial to be able to pick up on these quirks and nuances in poetry that you read if you want to be able to write high-quality poetry yourself.

Length Of Class

The poetry class offered by Billy Collins is composed of 20 on-demand video lessons that last for a total of 3 hours and 34 minutes. This is a relatively quick course to get through if you can dedicate time to it each day. The individual video lessons last between 4 minutes and 16 minutes.

Category Of Class

The Billy Collins reading and creative writing poetry class is available in two categories on Masterclass. You can find this course in the writing category and the arts and entertainment category.

Billy Collins’ Masterclass Lesson Plan

The most important thing to consider when working out whether a Billy Collins poetry Masterclass course is right for you is the lesson plan. Below, we will look at the lesson plan of the Billy Collins masterclass.

Lesson 1: Introduction: The Pleasure Poetry Gives Us

As with all Masterclass courses, the first lesson involves the instructor introducing themselves to you. In this lesson, Billy will talk about his background and achievements in the world of poetry. This will give you an idea of the experience that informs the rest of the course.

Lesson 2: Working With Form

The second lesson in this Billy Collins poetry masterclass course is actually the longest of them all, but at only 16 minutes, you won’t get bored. In this lesson, Billy will teach you about the different forms that you can use when writing poetry and the importance of sticking to one form to help you build an audience.

Lesson 3: Discovering The Subject

In your third lesson, you will be taught about the most exciting part of poetry, the subject. Billy will talk about how you can go anywhere and do anything when you are writing your poetry. He talks about the freedom of poetry and other facets of good poetry.

Lesson 4: Writing The Poem

In this shorter lesson, Billy will go through some practical writing exercises that will help you make the most of your own writing process. This will be your chance to write poetry something in the course for the first time.

Lesson 5: Writing Process

Billy Collins Masterclass Review: Is It Worth It? 1

In this lesson, Billy shares his personal notebooks with you and discusses the writing process behind one of his most well-known poems “Grand Central”. This will help you develop your own writing process to produce great poetry.

Lesson 6: Reading: Connecting With Poetry

This slightly longer lesson focuses on the poetry skills required to read poetry and get the most out of it. He will teach you how to embrace the nuance and ambiguity of poetry to get the most enjoyment out of it. It can also help to inspire your own poems.

Lesson 7: Discussion With Marie Howe: Emily Dickinson

In this lesson, you get to be privy to a discussion between two acclaimed poets. Billy and Marie Howe read and discuss “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” by Emily Dickinson. They focus on Dickinson’s creative use of capitalization to build a world out of a state of mind.

Lesson 8: Discussion With Marie Howe: William Shakespeare

In this second discussion lesson, you will watch Billy and Marie read and discuss “Sonnet 73” by William Shakespeare. They focus on the use of metaphor and language in the poem.

Lesson 9: Sound Pleasures

This lesson is invaluable to any budding poet. Billy helps to increase your toolbox of skills by expanding beyond the use of rhyme and meter to create lively, fun poems that almost get people tapping their toes.

Lesson 10: Playing A Visible Game

Billy describes himself as a “terrible rhymer”. In this lesson, he will teach you how to grab and keep your reader’s attention without having to rely on rhymes or metered poetry.

Lesson 11: Turning A Poem

In this lesson, Billy will teach you how to have fun with your poetry and take your reader on a journey. You will learn how to use the imaginative flexibility of poetry to make twists and turns.

Lesson 12: Discussion With Marie Howe: “What The Living Do”

In this lesson, Billy and Marie discuss one of Howe’s most acclaimed poems “What The Living Do”. You will learn about how a letter to Howe’s brother turned into this literary masterpiece.

Lesson 13: Discussion With Marie Hower: “The Death Of The Hat”

In this lesson, Billy and Marie discuss one of Collins’ poems “The Death Of The Hat”. They will talk about how the poem transforms from talking about a hat to an elegy for Collins’ father.

Lesson 14: Finding Your Voice: Influences

This is a lesson that any budding poet will find useful. Billy talks about how reading other poetry can help inspire and influence your own work and create your own persona.

Lesson 15: Finding Your Voice: Creating A Persona

This is a good lesson to stack back-to-back with the previous one. You will learn how to curate your own poetry persona which can help resolve many issues with writing poetry.

Lesson 16: Humor As A Serious Strategy

In this lesson, Billy discusses the use of humor in his own poetry. You will learn how you can use humor to discuss serious topics in your work.

Lesson 17: Student Discussion

In this lesson, Billy discusses the poem “My (Muslim) Father Seizes The Thing On My Nightstand” written by student Sarah Iqbal. He talks about the use of repetition and spacing to create tone.

Lesson 18: Student Discussion

In this lesson, Billy discusses the poem “The Crash” by student Paul Epland. They cover how Billy’s suggestion helped to form the poem.

Lesson 19: Discussion With Marie Howe: Writing Poetry

This discussion lesson focuses on practical exercises to help you sit down and write something when you are struggling for inspiration.

Lesson 20: A Poet’s Journey

In this final lesson, Billy invites you to start your own journey as a poet and join the club of poets.

Final Thoughts

Billy Collins’ poetry course on Masterclass mobile app is incredibly in-depth and detailed. He manages to cover the basics of writing poetry and then some in only 20 short lessons. This builds a strong foundation for budding poets.