Present Poet Laureate of the United States (serving his second term) and author of several books of poetry, including:

Nine Horses: Poems
Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems
Picnic, Lightening
The Best Cigarette
The Art of Drowning
Questions About Angels
The Apple That Astonished Paris
Pokerface
(out of print)

His poetry is typically very accessible, grounded in nouns and verbs and everyday events. Probably for that reason, he has been compared to Robert Frost. A friend of mine once said Collins seemed too accessible, but that was after one of his readings. His poems may sound or appear simple at first, but take on richer meanings on closer examination. Common themes in the poems--underneath the everyday facades--include mortality, love, some politics, and the mysterious attachments people form to particular places and to each other. Also, he is hilarious.

Collins was born in 1941, in New York City, where he presently teaches at Lehman College (City University of New York) in the Bronx. He is also writer-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, and poet-in-residence at the Burren College of Art in Ireland.

Information about his personal life is scarce. He attended parochial schools and Holy Cross College. At the University of California at Riverside, he earned his doctorate in romantic poetry. He is married; his wife, Diane, is an architect. They live in Upper Westchester County, NY, in an 1865 farmhouse. His neighbor has a dog (or so we are led to believe). He loves jazz, and owns a baby grand piano.

He has been featured in numerous newspapers and literary magazines, including the New York Times and Poetry Magazine.

Some of his honors include:

In his first term as Poet Laureate, he developed a high school program called Poetry 180 that encouraged students to read one poem every day.

The Steven Barclay Agency takes care of his bookings.

Some info from:
http://www.bigsnap.com/billy.html
http://magmapoetry.com
http://www.pw.org

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