Billy Collins, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival


Billy Collins

Document Type

Featured Participant

Festival Date



Webb University Center

Author/Artist Bio

A typical Billy Collins poem opens on a clear and hospitable note but soon takes an unexpected turn; poems that begin in irony may end in a moment of lyric surprise. No wonder Collins sees his poetry as “a form of travel writing” and considers humor “a door into the serious.” In 2001, Collins was appointed U. S. Poet Laureate and in 2004, he was the inaugural recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry. Billy Collins has published eight collections of poetry; his most recent is Horoscopes for the Dead. His work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The American Scholar.

Included among his honors are fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Collins is an American phenomenon. No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal.


Collins, featured speaker for the President's Lecture Series, read on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.


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