The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College annually gives the Paterson Poetry Prize for a book of poems, selected by the judges as the strongest collection of poems published in that year.
The winning book for 2014 is Billy Collins latest collection, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems (Random House, New York, NY).
Paterson Poetry Prize Finalists for 2014
- Valerie Bandura, Freak Show (Black Lawrence Press, Pittsburgh, PA)
- Daisy Fried, Women's Poetry: Poems and Advice (University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA)
- Jonathan Gillman, My Father, Humming (Antrim House, Simsbury, CT)
- Rachel McKibbens, Into the Dark & Emptying Field (Small Doggies Press, Portland, OR)
- Jose Antonio Rodriguez, The Backlit Hour (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, Nacogdoches, TX)
- Charles Simic, New and Selected Poems: 1962-2012 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY)
Billy Collins is the author of many books of poetry and has become one of the best known and best-selling poets in America. His books include Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems (Random House, 2012); Ballistics: Poems (2008); She Was Just Seventeen, a 2006 haiku collection; The Trouble with Poetry (2005); Nine Horses (2002); Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001); Picnic, Lightning (1998); The Art of Drowning (1995), which was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Questions About Angels (1991), which was selected by Edward Hirsch for the National Poetry Series; The Apple That Astonished Paris (1988); Video Poems (1980); and Pokerface (1977).
Collins has edited Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (Random House, 2003), an anthology of contemporary poems for use in schools and was a guest editor for the 2006 edition of The Best American Poetry.
Collins served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003, and as the New York State Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006. His other honors and awards include the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry, as well as fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1992, he was chosen by the New York Public Library to serve as “Literary Lion.” He has conducted summer poetry workshops in Ireland at University College Galway, and taught at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence, and taught for many years at Lehman College (CUNY). He lives in New York and Florida.
Billy Collins was the featured reader on May 9, 2015 at the Poetry Center along with all the finalists (except Charles Simic) at the historic Hamilton Club Building in Paterson, NJ.