Billy Collins Named to Chair of Creative Writing
December 5, 2008
Rollins College is pleased to announce that Billy
Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Winter Park Institute inaugural
scholar-in-residence, will continue his relationship with Rollins
College as Irving Bacheller Professor of Creative Writing through the
2008-09 academic year.
“We are honored to have Billy Collins as a member of our
Rollins College community,” said Rollins President Lewis Duncan. “His
appreciation for the liberal arts and his creative vision add energy to
our intellectual pursuits on campus and in our local community.”
Billy Collins has published nine collections of poetry (Questions About Angels
; The Art of Drowning
; Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes
; Sailing Alone Around the Room
: New & Selected Poems
; Nine Horses
; The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poem
s; and his most recent, Ballistics). A collection of haiku, titled She Was Just Seventeen
, was published by Modern Haiku Press in fall 2006. He also edited two anthologies of contemporary poetry, Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry
and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday
, and was the guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2006
Included among the honors Collins has received are fellowships from
the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the
Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has also been awarded the Oscar
Blumenthal Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, and
the Levinson Prize—all awarded by Poetry magazine. In October 2004,
Collins was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Poetry
Foundation’s Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry. He received an
honorary doctorate from Rollins in May 2008.
In June 2001, Collins was appointed United States Poet Laureate and
was reappointed to a second term in 2002. In January 2004, he was named
New York State Poet Laureate, an office he held until 2006. Collins is
a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City
University of New York.
Collins was named the inaugural scholar-in-residence of the Winter Park Institute
a program launched by Rollins this fall which showcases thought leaders
from diverse fields who are invited to the Institute for limited
residencies. A highlight of the new Winter Park Institute was Collins’
informal conversation with singer-songwriter Paul Simon. The two poets
of a modern generation discussed poetry, music and life.
As Rollins’ Irving Bacheller Professor of Creative Writing, Collins
will represent the College and its intellectual and creative
activities, in particular the writing programs, the Winter Park
Institute and the College’s 2009 Festival of the Literary Arts, Winter With the Writers
Each Thursday in February 2009, renowned authors will visit Rollins,
conducting master classes with students and speaking about their work.
Collins will be the featured writer on February 19, 2009.
Rollins established the Irving
Bacheller Professorship of Creative Writing in 1940. A publishing
executive and the popular American author of Eben Holden: A Tale of the
North Country (1900), Bacheller founded the first modern newspaper
syndicate in the United States. His work is lauded as sympathetically
capturing the social, cultural and pioneering spirit of the times and
people of his native northern New York state. A member of the Rollins
College Board of Trustees, Bacheller was credited with creating a
literary tradition in Winter Park, which was his home in his final
Learn more about Irving Bacheller.