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On the Bright Side

October 16, 2012

Hartwick College to host ex-U.S. Poet Laureate

A former U.S. Poet Laureate will be the first to appear in a series of presentations at Hartwick College by award-winning writers, a media release said.

Billy Collins, recently described by the New York Times as “the most popular poet in America,’’ will be at the Oneonta college’s Anderson Center for the Arts Theater at 8 p.m. Wednesday. He will be among visitors in the series titled “Four Writers Who Changed the World.’’

Collins’ work has appeared The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The American Scholar. He is a New York Public Library “Literary Lion,” and his last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry, the release said.

Collins is a distinguished professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, as well as a senior distinguished fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.

He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

He has also been awarded the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, and the Levinson Prize by Poetry magazine.

In October 2004, Collins was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry.

In June 2001, Collins was appointed U.S. Poet Laureate 2001-03. In January 2004, he was named New York State Poet Laureate 2004-06.

Presented by the NEH Visiting Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities and the Division of Arts and Humanities, the series events are free of charge and the community is invited to attend, the release said. A reception and book-signing will follow each reading.

Other guests scheduled are science writer David Sloan Wilson on Nov. 7; poet and playwright Derek Walcott, recipient of a Nobel Prize for Literature, on March 11; and novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, on April 18.

“Billy Collins, Marilynne Robinson, David Sloan Wilson and Derek Walcott have each changed our world,” Hartwick College Professor of English Robert Bensen, said in the release, “because of the ways they write about the personal and political, the scientific and spiritual dimensions of our lives.”

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