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Billy Collins: Online Resources

Compiled by Peter Armenti, Digital Reference Specialist

Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
Billy Collins,
U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-03

On June 21, 2001, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Billy Collins to be the 11th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Of his appointment, Dr. Billington said, "Billy Collins's poetry is widely accessible. He writes in an original way about all manner of ordinary things and situations with both humor and a surprising contemplative twist."

Collins served two terms as poet laureate, finishing his duties in spring 2003. This guide compiles links to resources on Billy Collins throughout the Library of Congress Web site, as well as links to external Web sites that include features on his life or selections of his work. To suggest additions to this guide, please contact the Digital Reference Section.

WATCH: Billy Collins & Karen Romagna at the 2014 National Book Festival


Library of Congress Web Site
   •Blog Posts
   •Press Releases, Articles
   •Poems and Poetry Projects
   •Audio and Video
   •Print Resources
External Web Sites
   •Biographical Information, Poetry
   •Interviews, Articles, and Conversations
   •Audio Recordings
   •Articles and Essays by Billy Collins
   •Teaching Aids
   •Book Reviews
   •Billy Collins in the News

Library of Congress Web Site


Biography of Billy Collins from the Poetry & Literature Center

Press Releases

"'Gently and Consistently Startling' Librarian Appoints Billy Collins Poet Laureate"

Library of Congress Information Bulletin, July/August 2001

Official Press release announcing Billy Collins' appointment to a second term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry

Related article from the Library of Congress Information Bulletin

Blog Posts

"The Bread, the Knife, and the Source of Billy Collins’s Poem "Litany'"
From the Catbird Seat, November 13, 2018

"Poem Dedicated to Library Published as Children's Book"
Library of Congress Blog, October 3, 2014

"Former Poets Laureate Battle for Pop Culture Supremacy"
From the Catbird Seat, October 31, 2013

Poems and Poetry Projects

Poetry 180
A collection 180 poems chosen by Billy Collins, one to be read each day of the high school year.

Overview from the Library of Congress Information Bulletin

"Introduction to Poetry"
A poem by Billy Collins from the Poetry 180 project.

Audio and Video


Poet and the Poem Audio Webcast, December 7, 2001 (56:13)


Billy Collins on how to read a poem aloud (01:28)

Billy Collins reads Walt Whitman's poem "I Hear America Singing" (01:19)


Billy Collins: 2014 National Book Festival

Billy Collins & Karen Romagna: 2014 National Book Festival

May 7, 2003 reading at the Library of Congress (59:59)

Recap from the Library of Congress Information Bulletin

2002 National Book Festival Webcasts (two webcasts)

December 6, 2001 reading at the Library of Congress (19:13)

Print Resources

Works by Billy Collins in the Library of Congress online catalog can be found under the following author heading:

Collins, Billy

Works about Billy Collins can be found in the Library of Congress online catalog under the following subject heading:

Collins, Billy--Interviews.

Link disclaimerExternal Web Sites

Biographical Information, Poetry

Academy of American Poets
A biography of Billy Collins, samples of his poetry and prose, and links to external resources.

Poetry Foundation
A biography of Billy Collins, bibliography of his writings, and links to more than 30 online poems.

Steven Barclay Agency
A biography of Billy Collins.

Interviews, Articles, and Conversations

"Rollins Proudly Welcomes Billy Collins’ Return"
The Sandspur, November 16, 2017

"Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins Receives Enthusiastic Reception in The Villages", September 21, 2017

"Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate, says Bob Dylan deserves Nobel Prize", October 20, 2016

"Billy Collins Gleefully Needles Opaque Poets"
Observer, October 4, 2016

"Billy Collins on Being an Only Child, and Why Majoring in Poetry Is Like Majoring in Death"
The Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2016

"Poet Billy Collins will Return to Rollins College"
Orlando Sentinel, November 18, 2015

"A Nation's Poet: Billy Collins"
The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press, July 7, 2015

"Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins' Contract Not Renewed by Rollins"
Orlando Weekly, July 2, 2015

"What’s a Poet Laureate Worth These Days?"
Winter Park Magazine, July 1, 2015

"Book Thief Vents Rage on Laureate's Poetry with Shotgun"
The Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina), May 23, 2015

"A Conversation with Poet Billy Collins"
Stay Thirsty Magazine, Winter 2015

"Paul [McCartney] Chats with US Poet Laureate Billy Collins at Rollins College", October 27, 2014

"Billy Collins Brings a Little Love to KC"
The Pitch, October 28, 2014

"Dodge Poetry Festival: 5 Tips on Writing from Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins", October 25, 2014

"The Joy of the Memorized Poem"
The Atlantic, October 22, 2014

"Billy Collins: Verse Forward, Poetry Backward"
The Salt Lake Tribune, August 31, 2011

"The Pleasures of Disorientation: A Conversation with Billy Collins"
Littoral (journal of the Key West Literary Seminar), August 20, 2009

"Poet Versed in Humor"
Interviewed by Bo Emerson, The Washington Times, September 1, 2008

"Poet Keeps It Simple -- Sort Of"
Public Interactive, June 16, 2008 (originally appears in June 8 issue of the Albuquerque Journal)

"Quiet Transmission: An Interview With Billy Collins"
Interviewed by Emily Churilla, SBGradMag, November 6, 2007

Interview with Poet Laureate Billy Collins
Interviewed by Lisa Guidarini, Bluestalking Reader, February 19, 2007

"A Brisk Walk: An Interview With Billy Collins"
Interviewed by Joey Whitnet, Guernica, June 2006

"From Victoria’s Secret to Emily Dickinson’s Clothes"
Pasadena Weekly, April 20, 2006

"Billy Collins, Bringing Poetry to the Public"
Interviewed by Dave Weich,, January 2004

"Re Verse: Billy Collins on His Craft and His Poet Laureateship"
Bookselling This Week, July 9, 2003

"Billy Collins: America's Poet"
CBS News, July 2, 2003

"Poet Laureate Promotes 'Events for the Ear' "
The Christian Science Monitor, April 25, 2002

"A MAJOR MINOR POET: Billy Collins isn't just funny - poet laureate"
Commonweal, January 11, 2002 (via

"Poet Laureate Billy Collins: Lehman College"
Education Update, January 2002

"Felicitous Spaces: An Interview with U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins"
Terra Incognita, January 2001

"Billy Collins on Sharing Poetry with Children"
Interviewed by staff from Highlights

Audio Recordings

Radio Programs

Spotlight Billy Collins Breaks Down Zipode Poetry (04:43)
90.7 WMFE, April 21, 2017

Poet Billy Collins Speaks in Des Moines (17:30)
Iowa Public Radio, March 27, 2017

Intersection: Billy Collins (14:52)
90.7 WMFE, November 1, 2016

Why English Lit is like death, and other ideas from Billy Collins (04:33), October 10, 2016

Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins On His New Collection—And How Poetry Is Changing (48:32)
The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU, October 4, 2016

Collins Values Approachable Poetry, Not Pretension (30:19)
Talk of the Nation, NPR, April 6, 2011

Love Of Words Brings Child, Poet Together (03:30)
All Things Considered
, NPR, November 9, 2010

Two Former U.S. Poet Laureates, Billy Collins and Donald Hall (51:20)
The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU, October 8, 2008

Poetry with Billy Collins, Part II (16:47)
Fresh Air, NPR, June 7, 2006

Billy Collins and 'Poetry on Record,' Part 1 (26:08)
Fresh Air, NPR, May 17, 2006

Billy Collins on The Trouble with Poetry (6:13)
All Things Considered, NPR, November 6, 2005

Sharing Father's Day Memories
Morning Edition, NPR, June 18, 2004

Billy Collins
The Paula Gordon Show, April 2, 2004

An Intimate Evening with Billy Collins (01:00:49)
North Country Public Radio Online, August 21, 2003

Billy Collins and National Poetry Month (03:28)
Morning Edition, NPR, April 1, 2003

Billy Collins: "Nine Horses" (51:21)
The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU, October 17, 2002

Summer Reading: U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins (03:00)
Weekend Edition, NPR, August 11, 2002

Billy Collins at the Town Hall in New York City (two excerpts)
A Prairie Home Companion, April 20, 2002

Billy Collins: "Sailing Alone Around the Room" (51:21)
The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU, October 25, 2001

Poet Billy Collins Reads His Poem "This Much I Do Remember" (04:18)
Fresh Air, NPR, October 18, 2001

U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins (19:24)
Fresh Air, NPR, September 26, 2001

Billy Collins: New U.S. Poet Laureate Talks About Fame, and His New Job (7:50)
NPR, September 4, 2001

Poet Billy Collins (16:02)
Fresh Air, NPR, June 22, 2001

Other Audio

Billy Collins: 2003 (30:31)
Key West Literary Seminar, January 2003

Lannan Readings & Conversations
Billy Collins with Henry Taylor, September 26, 2001
Download all 33 tracks from Billy Collins' CD The Best Cigarette

The Poetry Archive
Billy Collins reads 4 poems

Videos (includes television programs, readings, and animated poetry)

Billy Collins Creativity Conversation (1:06:30)
Emory University, January 30, 2012

Big Think
A series of videos featuring Billy Collins' thoughts on the arts and other aspects of American culture and society

An Evening of Poetry with Billy Collins (59:14)
Aspen Ideas Festival, July 4, 2007

Meet the Poet: Billy Collins (01:22:38)
WGBH Forum Network, December 12, 2002

Billy Collins Reads "The Names" before a Joint Session of Congress
C-SPAN Video Library, September 6, 2002

Elizabeth Farnsworth talks to the new poet laureate, Billy Collins (08:38)
The Online NewsHour, December 10, 2001

Billy Collins Reads "The Lanyard" (02:46)
Poetry Everywhere

Billy Collins--Action Poetry
11 animated Billy Collins poems

Billy Collins, Greatest Living Writers Project
Apple Learning Interchange

Articles and Essays by Billy Collins

"Inspired by a Bunny Wabbit"
Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2008

"Is That a Poem? The Case for E.E. Cummings."
Slate, April 10, 2005

"What's American About American Poetry?"
Writers on America, U.S. Department of State, 2002

Teaching Aids

Teachers' Domain: "The Lanyard," by Billy Collins
Resources for teaching Billy Collins' poem "The Lanyard"

Teachers' Guide to the book Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry
From Random House, Inc.

Book Reviews

The Rain in Portugal (2016)

The Buffalo News

The Free Lance-Star

The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)

The Washington Post

Horoscopes for the Dead (2011)

Orlando Arts Blog

Ballistics (2008)

Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Post and Courier (Charleson, SC)

Review of Collins' Collected Publications

Contemporary Poetry Review

She Was Just Seventeen (2006)

Modern Haiku

The Trouble with Poetry (2005)

The Christian Science Monitor

Entertainment Weekly

The Independent

Nine Horses: Poems (2002)

The Guardian

Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001)

Drunken Boat

Expansive Poetry & Music Online Review

The Yale Review of Books

The Art of Drowning (1995)

Poetry (via

Billy Collins in the News

Google News search on Billy Collins

Twitter results for Billy Collins

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  November 16, 2018
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