34 Facts About Billy Collins


William James Collins was born on March 22,1941 and is an American poet.


Billy Collins served as the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003.


Billy Collins was a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York, retiring in 2016.


Billy Collins was recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004 through 2006.


In 2016, Billy Collins was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Billy Collins was born in Manhattan to William and Katherine Billy Collins and grew up in Queens and White Plains.


Billy Collins's mother, Katherine Collins, was a nurse who stopped working to raise the couple's only child.


Mrs Billy Collins had the ability to recite verses on almost any subject, which she often did, and cultivated in her young son the love of words, both written and spoken.


Billy Collins' father was a worker on Wall Street who Collins attributes as an inspiration to his humor.


In 1975 Billy Collins founded The Mid-Atlantic Review with his friends Walter Blanco and Steve Bailey.


Billy Collins is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College in the Bronx, where he joined the faculty in 1968.


Billy Collins is a founding Advisory Board member of the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies at Lehman College.


Billy Collins has taught and served as a visiting writer at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York as well as teaching workshops across the US and in Ireland.


Billy Collins is a member of the faculty of SUNY Stony Brook Southampton, where he teaches poetry workshops.


Billy Collins was named US Poet Laureate in 2001 and held the title until 2003.


Billy Collins served as Poet Laureate for the State of New York from 2004 until 2006.


Billy Collins served a stint with the Winter Park Institute in Winter Park, Florida, an affiliate of Rollins College.


In 2013 and 2015, Billy Collins toured with the singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, performing on stage with her in a music-poetry-conversation format.


Billy Collins presented a TED talk, Everyday moments, caught in time at TED 2012.


Billy Collins initially refused to read "The Names" in public, though he has read it two times in public since 2002.


However, "The Names" was included in The Poets Laureate Anthology put out by the Library of Congress, for which Billy Collins wrote the foreword.


Billy Collins finally agreed to include "The Names" in his new and selected volume Aimless Love in 2013.


Billy Collins edited a second anthology, 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day to refresh the supply of available poems.


In 1997, Billy Collins recorded The Best Cigarette, a collection of 34 of his poems, that would become a bestseller.


Billy Collins recorded two of his poems for the audio versions of Garrison Keillor's collection Good Poems.


Billy Collins has appeared on Keillor's radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, numerous times, where he gained a portion of his large following.


Billy Collins has been called "The most popular poet in America" by the New York Times.


In 2005 Billy Collins was the first annual recipient of its Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry.


Billy Collins has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and in 1993, from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.


In 2012, Billy Collins appeared as himself in an episode of the PBS animated series Martha Speaks.


Billy Collins is on the editorial board at The Alaska Quarterly Review.


Billy Collins is on the advisory board at the Southern Review, and is similarly named in other journals.


In 1977 Billy Collins married Diane Olbright, and later settled in Westchester County, New York.


Billy Collins moved in 2007 from New York to Winter Park, Florida to be with Suzannah Gilman, his fiancee, an attorney and fellow poet.