Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate, to share his writing
RELEASED: Oct. 26, 2006
DANVILLE, KY—Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Centre College Humana visiting professor, will read from his work on Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. in Newlin Hall at Centre's Norton Center for the Arts. The event is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.
Dubbed by The New York Times as "the most popular poet in America," Collins' last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry, and his readings are usually standing room only.
Collins sees his poetry as "a form of travel writing" and considers humor "a door into the serious." The typical Collins poem opens on a clear and hospitable note but can soon take an unexpected turn.
"Billy Collins is one of the most enjoyable and widely appreciated poets writing today," says Daniel Manheim, associate professor of English at Centre. "His poems are often funny, but he uses humor as a way of easing meditations on sometimes difficult topics—loneliness, disillusionment, age. Collins follows our idle, jaunty thoughts into shadowy corners where we never expected them to lead."
Collins has published eight collections of poetry, and a collection of his haiku poems will be published this fall. He edited two anthologies of contemporary poetry and was the guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2006.
Other honors for Collins include fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has also been awarded numerous awards by Poetry magazine, and his work has appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The Atlantic Monthly.
Collins is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College, City University of New York, where he has taught for the past 30 years. In June 2001, he was appointed United States Poet Laureate (2001-2003), and in January 2004 he was named New York State Poet Laureate (2004-2006).The Centre College Humana Visiting Professor Program, funded by an endowment from the Humana Foundation, allows Centre to invite leading scholars to campus each year to directly share in the lives of students and faculty. The College rotates the program among various academic areas, bringing outstanding individuals from fields ranging from literature to science.
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