U.S. Poet Laureate returns to Beloit College Nov. 21

U.S. Poet Laureate and Beloit College’s 2003 Mackey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing Billy Collins will host a reading and commentary on his works this Friday, Nov. 21 at Eaton Chapel on the Beloit College campus.

Collins arrived at Beloit back in October to teach a poetry workshop to students and was the poet-in-residence until Oct. 26. He returns to the campus now to have an open-to-the-public event that will offer participants the chance to immerse themselves in linguistic art.

Verbal language is one of the first things to distinguish homo sapiens from other mammals—the rest of it is up in the air at this point in history—and the mere fact that our society is still celebrating our skills with words shows something positive about our culture.

Collins is said to combine humor with broad popular appeal and clean poetic style. Having published seven collections, he has also been featured on NPR (most notably on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion).

Collins’ work has appeared in many publications, including anthologies, textbooks and periodicals such as The Paris Poetry Review, American Poetry Review, The New Yorker and Harper’s. He has received many prestigious awards for his work and fellowships from various foundations.

Collins isn’t one of those who engages in self-celebration and egotistical interpretations of the filthier sides of living.

“I think a lot of readers are frustrated with obscurity and self-indulgence of most poetry,” he comments. “I try very assiduously to court the reader and engage him.”

Collins will appear at Eaton Chapel on Friday at 8 p.m., and there is no charge to attend. Information: www.beloit.edu.

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