Billy Collins attended Aspen Summer Words 2014 as poetry faculty, spoke on a panel on “The Art of Humor” with Melissa Bank, and was the keynote speaker at the Annual Benefit Dinner


Former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins has published eight collections of poems, many of which have broken sales records for poetry. He is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, as well as Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. He is a faculty member at Stony Brook Southampton; poetry consultant for Smithsonian Magazine; faculty writer-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence College; and served as Literary Lion of the New York Public Library. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been awarded numerous prizes.

Billy Collins thrilled Annual Benefit dinner guests with a humorous and thoughtful reading of his award-winning poetry. 

From “The Art of Humor” Panel
“I think humor can access some very serious places. And I think humor, at least in poetry, can be a doorway into serious subjects. In fact, if a poem I write has humor in it, if you want to put it that way, I put it there, but I’m not trying to make people laugh for no good reason. I’m probably trying to make them laugh to disarm them. Because humor is a strategy, not an end in itself.” Read more from the transcript.

Introducing Summer 2014…
Aspen Times Weekly, Andrew Travers, June 13, 2014