Billy Collins Bio, Wiki, Age, Poems, Family, TED Talks and Net Worth

Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Administrator

Billy Collins Wiki

Billy Collins born William James Collins is an American poet and a former professor of English hailing from New York. He was appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States thrice- from 2001 to 2003. 

Billy Collins Biography

In 2016, the poet retired from his position as a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York after being the residential professor for almost 50 years. Additionally, Mr. Collins is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. In the year 1992, Mr. Collins was considered as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library.

The poet enrolled at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains and in 1963, he graduated with a B.A. in English from the College of the Holy Cross. He went on to study and he later received his M.A. and Ph.D. in romantic poetry from the University of California, Riverside.

Billy was a professor of English at Lehman College in the Bronx, from 1968 to 2016 and has held teaching workshops across the U.S. and in Ireland.Collins is a member of the faculty of Stony Brook Southampton, where (2015) he teaches poetry workshops.  Collins was named the senior distinguished fellow at the Winter Park Institute in 2008. He maintained this fellowship until 2015. In 2012, Collins became poetry consultant for Smithsonian Magazine. Over the years, he invited friends such as Jane Pauley as guests at the institute.

Billy Collins Poet Laureate

Collins was named U.S. Poet Laureate in 2001 and held the title until 2003. Collins served as poet laureate for the State of New York from 2004 until 2006. As U.S. Poet Laureate, Collins read his poem The Names at a special joint session of the United States Congress on September 6, 2002, held to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The poem also appeared in the New York Times, September 6, 2002. As Poet Laureate, Collins instituted the program Poetry 180 for high schools. Collins chose 180 poems for the program and the accompanying book, Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry—one for each day of the school year. Collins edited a second anthology, 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day to refresh the supply of available poems. The program is online, and poems are available there for no charge

Billy Collins Age

The poet was born on March 22nd in the year 1941 in New York City U.S; and is 78 years old in 2019.

Billy Collins Family

Mr. Collins was born to Mr. William and Mrs. Katherine Collins in New York city. His father; Mr. William; was born to a large family from Ireland and Katherine was from Canada. His mother; Mrs. Katherine was a nurse who stopped working to raise their only child. In an interview, Billy attested to his mother’s ability to recite verses on almost any subject. This fueled his fire, cultivating in her young son a love of words.

Billy Collins Wife

In 1971 Collins tied the knot with Diane Olbright, an architect, and later settled in Westchester County, New York. The couple have since then divorced. Collins moved from New York to Winter Park, Florida to be with Suzannah Gilman, now his fiancée.

Billy Collins Ted Talk

Mr. Collins presented a TED talk, with the title ”Everyday Moments, Caught in Time’ at TED 2012. Collins has been reffered to as one of the Favorite 100 TED speakers of all time. He went ahead and gave a second TED talk at TED 2014 in Vancouver, Canada.

Billy Collins Poetry Influences

His professors at Riverside included Victorian scholar and poet Robert Peters. There he came under the influence of contemporary poets like Karl Shapiro, Howard Nemerov and Reed Whittemore, and during his adolescence he was influenced by Beat Generation poets as well.

Billy Collins Poetry Publications


  • Collins, Billy (1977). Pokerface. Pasadena: Kenmore Press.
  • Video Poems (1980)
  • The Apple That Astonished Paris. University of Arkansas Press. 1988. 
  • The Art of Drowning. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1995. 
  • Picnic, Lightning. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1998. 
  • Questions About Angels. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1999. 
  • Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes. Picador. 2000. ISBN
  • Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems. Random House. 2001–2002.
  • Nine Horses. Random House, Inc. 2002. 
  • The Trouble with Poetry. 2005.; Random House, Inc., 2007,
  • She Was Just Seventeen. Modern Haiku Press. 2006. 
  • Collins, Billy (2008). Ballistics. 
  • Horoscopes for the Dead. Random House. 2011. 
  • Aimless Love. Random House. 2013. 
  • Voyage. Bunker Hill Publishing. 2014. 
  • The Rain in Portugal. Random House. 2016. 

Billy Collins Awards and Accomplishments

  • 1983 Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts
  • 1986 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts
  • 1991 National Poetry Series publication prize. Winner for Questions About Angels
  • 1992 New York Public Library “Literary Lion”
  • 1993 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation
  • 1994 Poetry magazine’s “Poet of the Year”
  • 1995 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, Academy of American Poets. Shortlist for The Art of Drowning
  • 2001 American Irish Historical Society Cultural Award
  • 2001–2003 United States Poet Laureate
  • 2004–2006 New York State Poet Laureate
  • 2005 Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry
  • 2013 Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry
  • 2014 Norman Mailer Prize for Poetry
  • 2016 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award
  • 2016 Elected into The American Academy of Arts and Letters

Other Awards include these from Poetry magazine:

  • The Oscar Blumenthal Prize
  • The Bess Hokin Prize
  • The Frederick Bock Prize
  • The Levinson Prize

Billy Collins Net Worth

He has an estimated net worth of $ 7 Million.




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