Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins reads from his body of work. Reception and book signing to follow.

Introduced and conversation moderated by poet Dan Vera.

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.

“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.

Collins will also read on April 28 at a benefit dinner in an area private home. Please contact tdavis at folger.edu for more information.