Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins Visits Convent & Stuart Hall
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins Visits Convent & Stuart Hall

On May 10, one of the most respected and familiar voices in the world of American poetry will spend the entire day on campus, leading classroom workshops followed by an evening poetry reading and reception with the adult community.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, whom the New York Times called "the most popular poet in America," will give a reading and book signing at Convent & Stuart Hall on May 10 at 5:30 p.m. after a full day of classroom workshops. Mr. Collins will start his day with a presentation to the high school community followed by workshops with both middle form and high school students.

Tickets to the evening event include a copy of Mr. Collins' most recent collection of poetry, The Rain in Portugal, which offers nearly fifty new poems and showcases the author's trademark wit and imagination.

Mr. Collins was appointed U.S. Poet Laureate in 2001 and the New York State Poet Laureate in 2004. He currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of The City University of New York, where he has worked since 1968. As Poet Laureate, Mr. Collins launched the program "Poetry 180" for high school readers. He chose 180 poems for the book, Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry — one for each day of the school year.

Mr. Collins' visit comes during the annual weeklong campus Book Fair, a celebration of the school's "culture of reading." At the center of this culture is the school's Great Texts Canon — a critically evaluated list of titles and mentor authors that invites students to read widely and rigorously across the K-12 curriculum.

Included in a busy week of campus activities is a book talk for parents led by local independent bookseller, Books Inc. Book buyers and sales representatives will present their suggestions for the best new kids' books (ages 5-18) to read now and into the summer.

Two Bay Area authors will be here on May 9, the day before Mr. Collins arrives on campus. Katie Morford, author of cookbooks Rise and Shine: Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings and Best Lunch Box Ever will sign for parents, and Mac Barnett, the New York Times bestselling author of more than 24 books for children, will present to all K-8 students throughout the day.

Photo credit: Bill Hayes

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