Billy Collins' Rise to Literary Fame

  • The Birth of Billy Collins

    Poet Billy Collins was born March 22, 1941, in New York City to parents William and Katherine Collins
  • Degrees

    He was educated at College of the Holy Cross, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1963 and at the University of California received his M.A. and Ph.D in English from the University of California, Riverside.
  • The Mid-Atlantic Review

    In 1975 Collins founded The Mid Atlantic Review with his good friend and co-editor, Michael Shannon.
  • Poet of the Year

    The magazine "Poetry" selected Billy Collins as "Poet of the Year" in 1994.
  • "The Best Cigarette"

    In 1997, Collins recorded "The Best Cigarette", a collection of 34 of his poems, that would become a bestseller.
  • U.S. Poet Laureate

    Collins was named U.S. Poet Laureate in 2001 and held the title until 2003