November 10, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Poet Billy Collins will read and discuss poetry in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College on Friday, Dec. 1, at 4:00 p.m. The reading is free and open to the public.

“With his books selling briskly and his readings packing them in, Mr. Collins is the most popular poet in America,” according to The New York Times. He is a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion on public radio, where he has entertained listeners with his readings of poems that charm even those who had forgotten they liked poetry.

William H. Pritchard, Henry Clay Folger Professor of English at Amherst College, praised Collins’s work in The Boston Globe for its “splendid inventiveness” and “his extraordinary wit—plenty of humor, yes, but plenty of intelligence, too, the way that word ‘wit’ is used to comprehend both qualities.”

Collins has published six books of poetry: Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes (2000), Picnic, Lightning (1998), The Art of Drowning (1995), Questions About Angels (1991), Video Poems (1980) and Pokerface (1977). Collins was awarded a National Poetry Series publication prize for Questions About Angels. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Poetry, Chelsea, Boulevard, TriQuarterly, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review and The Paris Review. Collins lives in New York state and teaches at Lehman College (CUNY).