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Biography of Billy Collins

Billy Collins

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

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
  • 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.


42 Poems written by Billy Collins

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
27780 Snow Day Comments and analysis of Snow Day by Billy Collins 93 Comments
22628 Today Comments and analysis of Today by Billy Collins 8 Comments
20978 Dharma Comments and analysis of Dharma by Billy Collins 10 Comments
19090 Another Reason Why I Don't Keep A Gun In The House Comments and analysis of Another Reason Why I Don't Keep A Gun In The House by Billy Collins 76 Comments
18954 Nightclub Comments and analysis of Nightclub by Billy Collins 72 Comments
18764 The Art Of Drowning Comments and analysis of The Art Of Drowning by Billy Collins 6 Comments
17593 Reading An Anthology Of Chinese Poems Of The Sung Dynasty, I Pause To Admire The Length And Clarity Of Their Titles
17410 Flames Comments and analysis of Flames by Billy Collins 16 Comments
16959 The Best Cigarette Comments and analysis of The Best Cigarette by Billy Collins 78 Comments
16546 The First Dream Comments and analysis of The First Dream by Billy Collins 63 Comments
13695 Forgetfulness Comments and analysis of Forgetfulness by Billy Collins 278 Comments
11785 Marginalia Comments and analysis of Marginalia by Billy Collins 1 Comment
11235 Picnic, Lightning Comments and analysis of Picnic, Lightning by Billy Collins 3 Comments
10669 Dear Reader Comments and analysis of Dear Reader by Billy Collins 5 Comments
10139 I Ask You
10063 Silence Comments and analysis of Silence by Billy Collins 9 Comments
10047 Fishing On The Susquehanna In July Comments and analysis of Fishing On The Susquehanna In July by Billy Collins 480 Comments
9859 Consolation Comments and analysis of Consolation by Billy Collins 66 Comments
9758 Nostalgia Comments and analysis of Nostalgia by Billy Collins 2 Comments
9669 Invention Comments and analysis of Invention by Billy Collins 2 Comments
7724 Thesaurus Comments and analysis of Thesaurus by Billy Collins 8 Comments
7408 Walking Across The Atlantic Comments and analysis of Walking Across The Atlantic by Billy Collins 3 Comments
7110 I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice" Comments and analysis of I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of 1 Comment
7053 I Go Back To The House For A Book Comments and analysis of I Go Back To The House For A Book by Billy Collins 2 Comments
6388 Madmen Comments and analysis of Madmen by Billy Collins 3 Comments
6342 The Only Day In Existence Comments and analysis of The Only Day In Existence by Billy Collins 16 Comments
6313 Neither Snow Comments and analysis of Neither Snow by Billy Collins 207 Comments
6294 Tomes
6198 The Iron Bridge
6041 For Bartleby The Scrivener Comments and analysis of For Bartleby The Scrivener by Billy Collins 2 Comments
5554 Man Listening To Disc Comments and analysis of Man Listening To Disc by Billy Collins 1 Comment
5043 Pinup Comments and analysis of Pinup by Billy Collins 1 Comment
1316 Child Development Comments and analysis of Child Development by Billy Collins 7 Comments
1242 Directions Comments and analysis of Directions by Billy Collins 261 Comments
1046 Introduction To Poetry Comments and analysis of Introduction To Poetry by Billy Collins 71 Comments
1006 Litany Comments and analysis of Litany by Billy Collins 2 Comments
897 On Turning Ten Comments and analysis of On Turning Ten by Billy Collins 268 Comments
735 Candle Hat Comments and analysis of Candle Hat by Billy Collins 261 Comments
645 By A Swimming Pool Outside Syracusa
610 Shoveling Snow With Buddha Comments and analysis of Shoveling Snow With Buddha by Billy Collins 265 Comments
327 Japan
5 Study In Orange And White


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