Winter With the Writers

Billy Collins

American poet and former Poet Laureate of the United States

Event Details

Winter With the Writers welcomed Billy Collins to Rollins on February 19, 2009.

Speaker Bio

Current as of

Billy Collins was born in New York City in 1941. He is the author of several books of poetry, including Ballistics (2008); Nine Horses (2002); Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001); Picnic, Lightning (1998); The Art of Drowning (1995), which was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Questions About Angels (1991), which was selected by Edward Hirsch for the National Poetry Series; The Apple That Astonished Paris (1988); Video Poems (1980); and Pokerface (1977).

A recording of Collins reading 35 of his poems, The Best Cigarette, was released in 1997. Collins's poetry has appeared in anthologies, textbooks, and a variety of periodicals, including Poetry, American Poetry Review, American Scholar, Harper's, Paris Review, and The New Yorker. His work has been featured in the Pushcart Prize anthology and The Best American Poetry for 1992, 1993, and 1997. Collins has edited Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (Random House, 2003), an anthology of contemporary poems for use in schools.

Collins has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1992, he was chosen by the New York Public Library to serve as "Literary Lion" and in 2001 he served as the U.S. Poet Laureate. For several years he has conducted summer poetry workshops in Ireland at University College Galway. He is a professor of English at Lehman College, City University of New York. He divides his time between Winter Park and New York.