Billy Collins (b. 3/22/1941) started his career at CUNY Lehman College, in 1968. he is now a Distinguished Professor of English and has taught for over thirty years. In addition to his teaching position at Lehman, Collins has been a guest instructor at SUNY Stonybrook Southampton College and Sarah Lawrence College. He is also a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Winter Park Institute, an affiliate of Rollins College.
Collins founded The Mid Atlantic Review with his good friend and co-editor, Michael Shannon in 1975, and he is on the editorial board for the Alaska Quarterly Review and on the review board for the Southern Review, as well as other publications. Collins was also the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003, and he was also the New York State Poet Laurate from 2004-2006.
Some of his awards and honors include:
- 1986, Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts
- 1983, Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts
- 1991, National Poetry Series publication prize - winner, Questions About Angels
- 1992, New York Public Library 'Literary Lion'
- 1993, Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation
- 1994, Poetry Magazine - Poet of the Year
- 1995, Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, Academy of American Poets - shortlist, The Art of Drowning
- 2001, American Irish Historical Society Cultural Award
- 2005, Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry
And to whet your interest, here's a little taste of his poetry, read by Collins himself; the poem is "Forgetfullness"
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