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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
27152 Snow Day Comments and analysis of Snow Day by Billy Collins 86 Comments
20078 Today Comments and analysis of Today by Billy Collins 5 Comments
19015 Dharma Comments and analysis of Dharma by Billy Collins 8 Comments
18456 Nightclub Comments and analysis of Nightclub by Billy Collins 66 Comments
18330 The Art Of Drowning Comments and analysis of The Art Of Drowning by Billy Collins 6 Comments
18258 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 71 Comments
17068 Flames Comments and analysis of Flames by Billy Collins 16 Comments
16612 The Best Cigarette Comments and analysis of The Best Cigarette by Billy Collins 71 Comments
16518 Reading An Anthology Of Chinese Poems Of The Sung Dynasty, I Pause To Admire The Length And Clarity Of Their Titles
16181 The First Dream Comments and analysis of The First Dream by Billy Collins 63 Comments
13306 Forgetfulness Comments and analysis of Forgetfulness by Billy Collins 261 Comments
12549 Shoveling Snow With Buddha Comments and analysis of Shoveling Snow With Buddha by Billy Collins 262 Comments
11427 Marginalia Comments and analysis of Marginalia by Billy Collins 1 Comment
10946 Picnic, Lightning Comments and analysis of Picnic, Lightning by Billy Collins 3 Comments
10304 Dear Reader Comments and analysis of Dear Reader by Billy Collins 5 Comments
9878 I Ask You
9652 Fishing On The Susquehanna In July Comments and analysis of Fishing On The Susquehanna In July by Billy Collins 469 Comments
9583 Silence Comments and analysis of Silence by Billy Collins 9 Comments
9535 Consolation Comments and analysis of Consolation by Billy Collins 61 Comments
9344 Nostalgia Comments and analysis of Nostalgia by Billy Collins 2 Comments
9268 Invention Comments and analysis of Invention by Billy Collins 2 Comments
7387 Thesaurus Comments and analysis of Thesaurus by Billy Collins 6 Comments
7172 Walking Across The Atlantic Comments and analysis of Walking Across The Atlantic by Billy Collins 2 Comments
6688 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
6645 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
6166 Madmen Comments and analysis of Madmen by Billy Collins 3 Comments
6155 Tomes
6084 Neither Snow Comments and analysis of Neither Snow by Billy Collins 198 Comments
6064 The Only Day In Existence Comments and analysis of The Only Day In Existence by Billy Collins 11 Comments
5938 The Iron Bridge
5659 For Bartleby The Scrivener Comments and analysis of For Bartleby The Scrivener by Billy Collins 2 Comments
5333 Man Listening To Disc Comments and analysis of Man Listening To Disc by Billy Collins 1 Comment
4878 Pinup Comments and analysis of Pinup by Billy Collins 1 Comment
4413 Study In Orange And White
709 Directions Comments and analysis of Directions by Billy Collins 251 Comments
523 Introduction To Poetry Comments and analysis of Introduction To Poetry by Billy Collins 69 Comments
450 Child Development Comments and analysis of Child Development by Billy Collins 4 Comments
409 By A Swimming Pool Outside Syracusa
398 Candle Hat Comments and analysis of Candle Hat by Billy Collins 255 Comments
345 On Turning Ten Comments and analysis of On Turning Ten by Billy Collins 256 Comments
30 Litany Comments and analysis of Litany by Billy Collins 2 Comments
9 Japan


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