Billy Collins (2013)

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For the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series 2013, Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins read from his body of work at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on April 29, 2013. Poet Dan Vera introduced his colleague and moderated the conversation. A reception and book signing followed.

Billy Collins

Billy Collins's verse is deceptively straightforward, enticing the reader for a deeper look with witty and insightful language that honors the everyday. A former Poet Laureate, Collins has written 13 books of poetry, including The Art of Drowning, a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Questions About Angels, selected by Edward Hirsch for the National Poetry Series; Ballistics; and most recently Horoscopes for the Dead. He teaches at the Winter Park Institute in Florida and the State University of New York-Stonybrook.

Hear Collins read his poetry on April 29, 2013, at an O.B. Hardison Poetry Series event held at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.

Reviews and Excerpts

“The most popular poet in America.” —The New York Times

“Lovely poems...Limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides.” —John Updike


from American Sonnet

We do not speak like Petrarch or wear a hat like Spenser and it is not fourteen lines like furrows in a small, carefully plowed field

but the picture postcard, a poem on vacation, that forces us to sing our songs in little rooms or pour our sentiments into measuring cups.


Excerpt from "American Sonnet"from Questions About Angels, by Billy Collins © 1991. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.