Billy Collins
Lesson plans and teaching resources

Billy Collins
Biography and links to 6 poems, including audio files of Collins reading "Forgetfulness" and "Workshop."

Billy Collins Action Poetry
Animated poems, including "Budapest" and "Forgetfulness."

Billy Collins: Everyday moments, caught in time
In this TED talk, Collins shares five poems that have been made into cartoons and a sixth that parents and adolescents alike can enjoy. Length: 15:13.

Extended Metaphor
This lesson uses the poem "Cliché" to explore extended metaphor. Follow the link to the activity on the student handout.

"The Dead"
Billy Collins reads his poem, which has been illustrated by Juan Delcan.

Billy Collins reads his poem, which has been illustrated by Julian Grey.

Text of the poem. Follow the link to hear it read aloud by Garrison Keillor.

Exploring Contrasts in "The Lanyard" by Billy Collins
This lesson plan includes an overview of the poem, link to a video, a handout, and related poems.

"The Lanyard" by Billy Collins
Video of Collins reading the poem, analysis, and teaching tips.

"The Litany"
In this YouTube video (4:10), Billy Collins discusses his inspiration for this humorous poem before reading it. Consider including in a lesson on courtly love traditions or metaphor.

"The Names"
In this YouTube video (4:00), the poet reads his tribute to the victims and survivors of the 9/11 attacks.

Reading like a Tourist and other activities: Billy Collins in the AP Classroom
This unit plan starts with "Canada," "Scotland," "An Afternoon with Irish Cows," and "Budapest," and then moves to other poems. This 8-page document requires Adobe Reader or compatible application.