Around the Institute

Poet Laureate Billy Collins to Appear at Aspen Summer Words Workshop

June 6, 2014  • Barbara Dills, Guest Blogger

Poet Billy Collins

Immediately following 9/11, former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins famously told the New York Times, “In times of crisis it’s interesting that people don’t turn to the novel or say, ’We should all go out to a movie,’ or ’Ballet would help us.’ It’s always poetry. What we want to hear is a human voice speaking directly in our ear.” This month, Collins joins other literary luminaries including Meg Wolitzer, Andre Dubus III, Julia Glass, Bernard Cooper, and Melissa Bank, as well as a host of esteemed agents and editors, at Aspen Summer Words, the annual literary event produced by the Institute’s Aspen Writers’ Foundation and one of the most respected writers’ gatherings in the country. The full event runs from June 13 to 18 at The Hotel Jerome in the center of Aspen, Colorado, attracting writers and readers from all over to participate in workshops and attend daily readings, panels, and other events.

Collins is known for making poetry accessible to everyone, and attendees at this year’s benefit can expect him to entertain and provoke when he joins his award-winning Summer Words colleagues as the featured guest at the Writers’ Foundation’s Benefit Dinner, A Literary Feast. The evening begins with a VIP cocktail reception, followed by dinner in The Hotel Jerome Grand Ballroom, and a reading and talk by Collins. Individual tickets and tables can be reserved at or by calling Jamie Kravitz at 970-925-3122 ext. 2.