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Billy Collins, American Poet

November 9, 2009 | City College, CUNY Lecture Series

For one of America’s most beloved poets, writing poems is still a leap of faith. “You hope that someone is going to read it,” Billy Collins, who served two terms as the U.S. Poet Laureate, joked at a Book Talk lecture sponsored by City College’s Center for Worker Education. A Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College, where he joined the faculty in 1968, the prolific Collins recently published his eighth volume of poetry, “Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds.” Reading from his 2001 collection, “Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems,” Collins discussed his technique. “It’s all very exploratory,” said Collins. “I think of the pen as an instrument of discovery or a flashlight, which may lead me somewhere.”
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