“Reader-based poetry” might sound as redundant as the medical field known as “patient care,” but, sadly, that is not the case. Our gathering will have as its starting point the poet’s duty to engage and sustain the attention of a reader. How this duty may be happily discharged to the benefit of both parties will be the subject of much of our discussion. The vital connection between form and pleasure will be stressed. Poems will be subjected to sharpening. Exercises will be provided. A good time will be had.

NOTE: This is a three-day workshop.


This workshop is open to poets who have not previously worked with Billy Collins at KWLS. Admission will be based on a writing sample. To be considered, submit three poems as a single word document to miles[at]kwls[dot]org with “Collins Workshop Submission” in the subject heading.

About Billy Collins

Billy Collins is a two-term United States Poet Laureate, New York State Poet, and the author of eight collections of poetry. He has been called “the most popular poet in America” by The New York Times, and his most recent book, Ballistics, spent more than 18 months on the Poetry Foundation’s best sellers list, where his previous book, The Trouble with Poetry, appeared for more than 2 years.

Collins has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1992 he was chosen by the New York Public Library to serve as a “Literary Lion.” With the Library of Congress, he established Poetry 180, a teaching aid for high school students founded on the belief that "poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race."

Today, Collins is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College (CUNY) and a Distinguished Fellow at the Winter Park Institute of Rollins College. He divides his time between New York and Winter Park, Florida.