Billy Collins (1941 - Present)
Billy Collins (born March 22 1941) is an accomplished American poet who served two terms as the eleventh Poet Laureate of the United States. In his home state, he has been recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004.
He was born William Collins in a small William Carlos Williams worked as a Holy Cross
College, and earned a romantic poetry at the 1971.
Collin is a distinguished Professor of English at City University of New York, where he taught
from 1968 to 2001 and has remained a member of the faculty. More recently, he has taught and served as a visiting writer at Sarah Lawrence College
As U.S. Poet Laureate, he read his poem "The Names" at a special joint session of the September 6,
remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks
His books of poetry include:
- Nine Horses (2002)
- Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001)
- Picnic, Lightning (1998)
- The Art of Drowning (1995), which was a Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize finalist
- Questions About Angels (1991), the winner (two years later) of the National Poetry Series competition
- The Apple That Astonished Paris (1988)
- Video Poems (1977)
He recorded The Best Cigarette in 1997, a collection of 33 of his poems. He also recorded two of his poems for the audio versions of Garrison Keillor's collection Good Poems (2002).
Collins' poetry is marked by a rejection of restrictive forms such as the villanelle. For instance, his poem Sonnet begins "All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now", and continues in this vein; the "sonnet" is fourteen lines, but does not rhyme and is not, until the final line, iambic pentameter. His Paradelle for Susan is emblematic of his rejection of formal poetry.
Over the years, Poetry magazine has awarded him several prizes in recognition of poems they publish. During the 1990s, Collins has won five such prizes. The magazine also selected him as "Poet of the Year" in 1994. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 1993, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Biography by: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Billy Collins.