Billy Collins Visits Eagle Hill School
Renowned poet and former United States Poet Laureate captivates the Eagle Hill and Hardwick communities with his work and inspiration.
Billy Collins is an American phenomenon. No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal. His work has appeared in a variety of periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar, and he has published twelve collections of poetry. He has been recognized with a number of honors, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and he was appointed United States Poet Laureate from 2001-2003.
For the 2022-2023 academic year, Billy Collins' The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems was selected as the primary text for our community read. Students have been immersed in Mr. Collins' poetry all year and in greater discussions about what poetry is and can be. These discussions even spilled over into our Fall Family Weekend and a parent "book club" gathering—perhaps you joined in the conversation yourself! We were thrilled to have Mr. Collins visit our campus this past week to meet and engage with students, and to connect with our greater community.
“Billy Collins arrival on campus and his interactions with our students and teachers and the Hardwick community brought us all closer to the power and possibilities of the written word. Our hearts and imaginations were captivated by one of the best known, most revered living poets in America.” - Dr. Matthew Kim
Mr. Collins’ visit to Eagle Hill’s campus began on Thursday evening, when a small group of students and faculty had the privilege of dining with him at the Waller Trustee House. Our thanks to Drs. Riendeau and Kim for preparing a beautiful meal. The following morning, Mr. Collins participated in a 60-minute informal classroom Q&A. The twenty students selected to participate in the lecture had enrolled in the one-term The Trouble with Poetry class. They clearly recognized the unique opportunity to participate in the event and arrived prepared with questions.
Later Friday afternoon, Mr. Collins delivered a poetry reading in the Archipley Cultural Center for all the faculty and students to participate in, followed by a 30-minute conversation with Dr. Kim. After the conversation concluded, Dr. Kim summarized his visit by sharing the following statement, “Billy Collins arrival on campus and his interactions with our students and teachers and the Hardwick community brought us all closer to the power and possibilities of the written word. Our hearts and imaginations were captivated by one of the best known, most revered living poets in America.”
To close out his time at Eagle Hill, Billy Collins gave a moving poetry reading at The Archipley Cultural Center at Eagle Hill on Friday evening for the larger Hardwick community. Eagle Hill parents, students, faculty, and staff as well as Hardwick community members were treated to a lovely reception and book signing following the reading. It was truly a moving and unforgettable few days at EHS.