April 22, 2002 Poet Laureate Billy Collins Appointed to Serve a Second Term
May 8 Lecture on "Hedonism and the Pleasures of Poetry" Concludes 2001-2002 Literary Season
Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: Poetry and Literature Center (202) 707-5394/5
Billy Collins, the Library's Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2001-2003, will deliver a lecture, "Hedonism and the Pleasures of Poetry," on Wednesday, May 8. The program will be in the Library's Coolidge Auditorium, on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, at 6:45 p.m.; tickets are not required.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has just appointed Mr. Collins to serve a second term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Mr. Collins' "Poetry180" program, available on the Library's Web site at www.loc.gov/poetry/180, has been greeted with great enthusiasm across the country. He designed the Web site to make it easy for high-school students to hear or read a poem each day of the approximately 180 days of the school year. He selected the poems with high-school students in mind.
Billy Collins' books of poetry include a volume of new and selected poems, Sailing Alone Around the Room, which was published by Random House last September; Picnic, Lightning (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998); The Art of Drowning (1995), which was a Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize finalist; Questions About Angels (1991), a National Poetry Series selection by Edward Hirsch; The Apple That Astonished Paris (1988); Video Poems (1980); and Pokerface (1977).
His honors include fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has also been awarded the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, and the Levinson Prize, all awarded by Poetry magazine. He is distinguished professor of English at Lehman College, City University of New York, where he has taught for the past 30 years. He is also a writer-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence University, and he has served as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library.