Rollins Writers Conference

Conference Faculty

Work with Talented Authors

The conference is taught by writers from around the country who are some of the most engaging and celebrated authors writing today.


Billy Collins

Billy Collins

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.

Katie Farris

Katie Farris

Katie Farris studied genetics and plant biology, mycology and midwifery before writing boysgirls, (Marick Press, 2011), a hybrid form text incorporating prose poetry, fairy-tale, riddle, myth, illustrations by artist Lavinia Hanachiuc, and short-short fictions. The book has been lauded as “truly innovative,” (Prague Post), “a tour de force” (Robert Coover, PEN/Faulkner Award-winner), and “a book with gigantic scope.” (Louisville Courier-Journal).

Katie Farris’s poetry, fictions, and translations have appeared in various journals, including Virginia Quarterly Review, Western Humanities Review, Verse, Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Gulf Coast, and Hayden’s Ferry Review. Her work has been translated into Lithuanian, and most recently into Spanish by Pura López-Colomé.

Farris is also the co-translator of several books from the Russian, French, and Chinese. Her co-translation of Polina Barskova’s This Lamentable City (Tupelo Press, 2010), was reviewed by The New York Times: “words flicker — strange, elegant — a Russian evanescence. Heat lightning pulses between her lines.” Morning Ploughs the Winter, a book of prose poems by Acadian poet Guy Jean, was published by Marick Press in 2013 and nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Farris won the 2012 DJS Translation Award from Poetry East/West for her co-translations in New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry, 1990-2012. Her translations have also been widely anthologized in texts such as New European Poets (Graywolf Press) and Penguin Book of Classical Russian Poetry (Penguin).

She holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Brown University, and is currently an Associate Professor in the MFA program at San Diego State University, where she won an Innovation in Teaching Award in 2013. She is also among the core faculty at New England College’s low-residency MFA program.
Carol Frost

Carol Frost

Carol Frost, director of Winter with the Writers, A Festival of the Literary Arts, is the author of twelve books of poems. The Queen's Desertion, I Will Say Beauty, Love and Scorn: New and Selected Poems, all from Northwestern University Press, are recent volumes. Her 2010 collection of poems, Honeycomb, was the recipient of the Gold Medal in Poetry from the Florida Book Awards, and in 2014 Tupelo Press published Entwined:Three Lyric Sequences. Her poems have appeared in four Pushcart Prize anthologies, and she has been a recipient of two National Endowment for theArts fellowships. The Poets’ Prize and Elliston Award committees have also honored her work. She has published poems in The Atlantic Monthly, American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, The New York Times, Poetry, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly,and Virginia Quarterly Review. Her poems also appear in recent anthologies--The New Anthology of American Poetry, Volume 3: Postmodernisms, 1950 to the PresentContemporary American Poetry and When She is Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women. In addition, her essays on poetics have appeared in print, largely in the New England Review, and on the Web. The Web publication sites include Modern American Poetry, Poetry Daily, Plume, and from the Academy of American Poetry.
Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former USSR, and arrived in the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004), which was named Best Poetry Book of 2004 by Foreword Magazine. Kaminsky’s honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Milton Center’s Award for Excellence in Writing, the Florence Kahn Memorial Award, Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize as well as their Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Philips Exeter Academy’s George Bennett Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation fellowship for poems from his new manuscript, Deaf Republic. In 2010 harperCollins published his anthology of 20th century poetry in translation, Ecco Anthology of International Poetry.

He co-founded Poets For Peace, an organization which sponsors poetry readings in the United States and abroad with a goal of supporting such relief organizations as Doctors Without Borders and Survivors International. Ilya has also worked as a law clerk at the National Immigration Law Center, and more recently at Bay Area Legal Aid, helping the impoverished and homeless in solving their legal difficulties.

Currently, he teaches Literature and writing at San Diego State University and acts as Director of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute at The Poetry Foundation.

Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her M.F.A. at Emerson College. Her first novel, Find Me, published by FSG in 2015, was selected as a “Best Book of 2015” by NPR, Time Out New York, and BuzzFeed, among others, in addition to being longlisted for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize.

She is also the author of two collections of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2009) and The Isle of Youth (FSG, 2013). What the World was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The Isle of Youth was named a “Best Book of 2013” by over a dozen outlets, including NPR, The Boston Globe, and O, The Oprah Magazine; a finalist for the Frank O’Connor Award; and received The Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and the 2015 Bard Fiction Prize.

Her stories have appeared in Conjunctions, Freeman’s, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, and have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Pushcart Prize XXIV. Her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, O, The Oprah Magazine, and

A 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, Laura has is the recipient of fellowships from The Civitella Ranieri Foundation and the Omi International Arts Center; she was awarded a 2015 Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, a $25,000 annual prize given to “a young writer of proven excellence in poetry or prose.”

She has recently taught creative writing in the M.F.A. Program Columbia University and at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. At present, Laura lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband, the writer Paul Yoon, and their dog, Oscar. She is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard University. Her next novel is forthcoming from FSG.

Carol Frost, Director
Rollins College
1000 Holt Ave. #2766
Winter Park, Florida 32789
T. 407.646.2839