Wyoming Arts Council

Billy Collins in Jackson

Teton County Library and Foundation invite the community to take a voyage through verse with the 44th U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, at the helm. Page to the Podium: Billy Collins presents this master of verse at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 4 in the Jackson Hole High School Auditorium. Collins will read his poems, offer commentary and answer questions. In an excerpt from his poem “Introduction to Poetry” from his book “Sailing Alone Around the Room,”Collins explains how he prefers to chart such literary waters:

I want them to water-ski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

Excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, from his book “Sailing Alone Around the Room,” published by Random House. Copyright C2001 Billy Collins.

A Guggenheim winner, Collins has managed to attain both high critical acclaim and broad popular appeal. His work has appeared in periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar, while his last three collections of poems have broken sales records. Aptly described as “unpretentious, funny, and good,” Collins is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. He was appointed U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003.

While Page to the Podium is free and open to Teton County library cardholders, tickets are limited and must be picked up in person at the library’s Front Desk. Patrons will need to show a current library card to receive up to two tickets to the reading. Library cards may be obtained for free with a photo i.d. and local mailing address.

Collins has published eight collections of poetry, including Sailing Alone Around the Room, The Apple That Astonished Paris and Nine Horses. Collins considers humor “a door into the serious.” His poems often open on a clear, hospitable note but then take unexpected turns. His work has won praise from fellow authors, including Wyoming author Annie Proulx, who writes: “I have never before felt possessive about a poet, but I am fiercely glad that Billy Collins is ours.” For more information on Collins’ upcoming visit, contact PaulineTowers-Dykeman at 733-2164 ext. 217. You can also visit the LibraryFoundation online at www.TCLib.org/foundation

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