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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
27805 Snow Day Comments and analysis of Snow Day by Billy Collins 94 Comments
22740 Today Comments and analysis of Today by Billy Collins 10 Comments
21087 Dharma Comments and analysis of Dharma by Billy Collins 10 Comments
19135 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
18983 Nightclub Comments and analysis of Nightclub by Billy Collins 73 Comments
18798 The Art Of Drowning Comments and analysis of The Art Of Drowning by Billy Collins 6 Comments
17606 Reading An Anthology Of Chinese Poems Of The Sung Dynasty, I Pause To Admire The Length And Clarity Of Their Titles
17431 Flames Comments and analysis of Flames by Billy Collins 16 Comments
16979 The Best Cigarette Comments and analysis of The Best Cigarette by Billy Collins 79 Comments
16568 The First Dream Comments and analysis of The First Dream by Billy Collins 63 Comments
13720 Forgetfulness Comments and analysis of Forgetfulness by Billy Collins 278 Comments
11827 Marginalia Comments and analysis of Marginalia by Billy Collins 1 Comment
11258 Picnic, Lightning Comments and analysis of Picnic, Lightning by Billy Collins 3 Comments
10688 Dear Reader Comments and analysis of Dear Reader by Billy Collins 5 Comments
10159 I Ask You
10093 Silence Comments and analysis of Silence by Billy Collins 9 Comments
10065 Fishing On The Susquehanna In July Comments and analysis of Fishing On The Susquehanna In July by Billy Collins 482 Comments
9894 Consolation Comments and analysis of Consolation by Billy Collins 68 Comments
9777 Nostalgia Comments and analysis of Nostalgia by Billy Collins 2 Comments
9683 Invention Comments and analysis of Invention by Billy Collins 2 Comments
7759 Thesaurus Comments and analysis of Thesaurus by Billy Collins 8 Comments
7430 Walking Across The Atlantic Comments and analysis of Walking Across The Atlantic by Billy Collins 3 Comments
7143 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
7067 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
6400 Madmen Comments and analysis of Madmen by Billy Collins 3 Comments
6364 The Only Day In Existence Comments and analysis of The Only Day In Existence by Billy Collins 16 Comments
6323 Neither Snow Comments and analysis of Neither Snow by Billy Collins 208 Comments
6305 Tomes
6220 The Iron Bridge
6087 For Bartleby The Scrivener Comments and analysis of For Bartleby The Scrivener by Billy Collins 2 Comments
5571 Man Listening To Disc Comments and analysis of Man Listening To Disc by Billy Collins 1 Comment
5055 Pinup Comments and analysis of Pinup by Billy Collins 1 Comment
1421 Child Development Comments and analysis of Child Development by Billy Collins 7 Comments
1271 Directions Comments and analysis of Directions by Billy Collins 263 Comments
1072 Introduction To Poetry Comments and analysis of Introduction To Poetry by Billy Collins 71 Comments
1056 Litany Comments and analysis of Litany by Billy Collins 2 Comments
975 On Turning Ten Comments and analysis of On Turning Ten by Billy Collins 268 Comments
751 Candle Hat Comments and analysis of Candle Hat by Billy Collins 261 Comments
658 By A Swimming Pool Outside Syracusa
644 Shoveling Snow With Buddha Comments and analysis of Shoveling Snow With Buddha by Billy Collins 266 Comments
341 Japan
18 Study In Orange And White


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