Celebrating the Pleasures of Literature

Billy Collins

Shortly after being appointed U.S. Poet Laureate and University Distinguished Professor, Billy Collins, seen at right, read some of his poems at a meeting of the CUNY Board of Trustees. One poem in particular amused the audience, “Forgetfulness,” a wry description of how the memory on one’s hard drive gets smaller and smaller with age. Characteristic of Collins’ self-deprecating wit is the first line: “The name of the author is the first to go.”

The poem is among those in a special CUNY edition of Collins’ latest volume, Sailing Alone Around the Room, which will play a significant role in an up-coming all-campus initiative “CUNY is Reading.” Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and Executive Vice Chancellor Louise Mirrer, in their prefatory letter to the special edition, recall the pleasure “Forgetfulness” gave: “the brilliance of the poem was a vivid reminder of why . . . no one would dream of forgetting the name of the author who has been such a cause for celebration at the City University.” For more on “CUNY is Reading” and Billy Collins, see the Chancellor’s column on the next section.

Contents October 2002

From High School Dropout to Surgeon General – Thanks to BCC

Extending the Lifespan of Learning

The Bronx: A Thriving River Runs Through It

Chancellor's Message: Celebrating CUNY Poets

Two Bills for CUNY Signed by Governor

Colleges Set Out Welcome Mats For First “CUNY Week” Outreach

New Technology: Two Conferences

Celebrating the Pleasures of Literature

The Public and Private Lives of Eleanor Roosevelt

Capturing the Life of a Complex General

TV Boot Camp Gives Students Taste of “60 Minutes” Magic

Big Cats' Novels Change America

Imagining Hopper

New Stars in Faculty Firmament

John Jay Law Enforcement News Honored for Articles on 9/11

Preserving the History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora

Vigils, Bells, Art, Eloquence—and Silence: Campuses Observe September 11

Three WTC Workers from City Tech Receive Scholarships

Future Holds New Home, New Master’s for CUNY’s School of Architecture

N.J. State Human Resources Executive Comes to CUNY

Hostos Goes Electronic on the Grand Concourse

New Shuttle Service Eases Lehman Commute

Leap in Fall Enrollment

CUNY Board Adopts State Early Retirement Plan