Poet Billy Collins Headlines Writers Series at Hartwick

September 25, 2012

Hartwick College will host a series of readings and presentations by award-winning writers renowned in the arts, humanities, and sciences throughout the 2012-2013 academic year. The series is titled "Four Writers Who Changed the World" and the first reading in the series will feature internationally recognized former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins on Wednesday, October 17 at 8 p.m. in the Anderson Center for the Arts Theater. Collins was recently labeled by The New York Times as "the most popular poet in America."

Collins' work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar. He is a Guggenheim fellow and a New York Public Library "Literary Lion," and his last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry.

Included among the honors Billy Collins has received are 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 - all awarded 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, Billy Collins was appointed United States Poet Laureate 2001-2003. In January 2004, he was named New York State Poet Laureate 2004-06. Billy 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.

Hartwick College has long been committed to fostering excellence in writing. Presented by The NEH Visiting Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities & the Division of Arts & Humanities, "Four Writers Who Changed the World" is free of charge and the community is invited to attend. Events will be held at 8 p.m. in the Theatre of the Anderson Center for the Arts on the Hartwick campus, and a reception and book-signing will follow each reading. Copies of books by each author will be available for purchase prior to the readings at the Hartwick College Barnes & Nobel Bookstore on campus.

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

This year's presenters in the series include:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012: Poet Billy Collins. U.S. Poet Laureate 2001-3. Author of twelve volumes of poetry, including The Trouble with Poetry, Nine Horses, Sailing Around the Room, The Art of Drowning, Questions About Angels, and others. 8 p.m., Anderson Center for the Arts Theater.
Billy Collins, (Photo Credit Steven Kovich)
(Photo Credit Steven Kovich)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012: Science Writer David Sloan Wilson. SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence; Guggenheim Fellow and National MS Society Book Award. Author of The Neighborhood Project, Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives (2007), and three others.David Sloan Wilson

Monday, March 11, 2013: Poet and Playwright Derek Walcott. Nobel Prize for Literature and MacArthur Foundation Award, Royal Society of Literature, and the Queen's Medal for Poetry. Author of twenty-one volumes, including White Egrets, The Bounty, Tiepolo's Hound, Another Life, and many other collections of poetry, plays, and essays. Hartwick College awarded Walcott an honorary doctorate in 1990 in recognition of his many contributions to the College.Derek Walcott

Thursday, April 18, 2013: Novelist and Essayist Marilynne Robinson. Pulitzer Prize, PEN/Hemingway Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award; essayist and novelist, author of When I Was a Child, I Read Books; Gilead, Housekeeping, The Death of Adam, Absence of Mind.
Marilynne Robinson

For additional information on the series, contact Bensen at 607-431-4902 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031