Folger Poetry Board Reader: Billy Collins | POSTPONED

Monday, May 18, 2020, 7:30 pm
National Gallery of Art
Free but registration is required.
We are sorry, but this event is postponed due to COVID-19.

We are rescheduling the reading for next May, when Billy Collins can join us in person to be our 2021 Folger Poetry Board Reader.
Our Box Office will reach out to ticketholders with a firm date and time and how to reserve tickets once confirmed. You can email the box office at with any additional concerns or questions at any time.
Meantime, enjoy our Line by Line archive of select past poetry readings at the Folger.

Every year the Folger Poetry Board selects a distinguished poet to reads from his work as well as the work of those the poet cites as an influence.

Named “the most popular poet in America” by The New York Times, Billy Collins is the author of several volumes of poetry, most recently The Rain in Portugal. He is a former United States Poet Laureate, and his many honors and awards include the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry. 

From Introduction to Poetry

…I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore…

Excerpt from Billy Collins, “Introduction to Poetry” from The Apple that Astonished Paris. Copyright ©1988, 1996 by Billy Collins. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Arkansas Press.

This reading is co-sponsored with and will be held at The National Gallery of Art, East Building Auditorium.