Billy Collinsb. 1941
Billy Collins is that rarest of phenomena—a best-selling poet. Cherished for his wry humor, ingenious metaphors and uncanny ability to turn the most humdrum of domestic situations into occasions for memorable poetry, he came to prominence in 1998 with his volume Picnic, Lightning. Born in New York City, and a professor at Lehman College there, he served from 2001 to 2003 as the United States’ poet laureate.