Billy Collins was born in New York City in 1941. He served as the United States Poet Laureate from 2001–03 and the New York State Poet Laureate from 2004–06. He has additionally received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Collins is beloved for the accessibility and humor of his poetry, offering companionable yet profound meditations on the familiar and mundane. His thirteen collections include Pokerface (1977), Questions about Angels (1991), Picnic, Lightning (1998), The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems (2007), and The Rain in Portugal (2016). Collins is professor emeritus at Lehman College and lives in Somers, New York.