Billy Collins at Vanderbilt
Wednesday evening, I had the opportunity to dine with the 2001-2003 poet laureate, Billy Collins. This awesome opportunity was part of an event called Dinner and a Draft, which is put on by The Writing Studio and open to all students, particularly first years. I was excited that as a sophomore I still got the opportunity to go to the dinner, which was hosted at Dean Wcislo’s house on the Commons.
This dinner was a relatively informal event, which basically consisted of discussing Collins’ poetry and writing methods. We talked about handwriting vs. typing first drafts, the process of editing, and more. We were invited to ask questions and the conversation over dinner was a really great way to get advice and wisdom from a past poet laureate. Collins is doing a 2-week residency at Vanderbilt, so he also talked a little about what else he’s been doing in his time here.
Friday evening, I went to Billy Collins’ poetry reading. The reading was held in a lecture hall in Wilson and it was unbelievably packed with people–people were sitting on the floor and crowding the doorway just to hear Collins read. After having gone to dinner with him, it was wonderful to hear some of Collin’s poetry in his own voice. Billy Collins has been a favorite poet of mine for quite sometime, so being able to hear him read his poetry right here at Vanderbilt was a fantastic experience.