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Event Schedule


Songwriter Paul Simon will present the 2013 Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature at Emory University September 22­–24, 2013.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

4:15 p.m., Sailing on an Endless Sea: My Life as a Songwriter, Glenn Auditorium

Monday, September 23, 2013

3:45 p.m., Public Conversation between Paul Simon and
                 former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Glenn Auditorium

8:15 p.m., View from Cloud: The Solitary Artist in a Collaborative Culture, Glenn Auditorium

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

7:00 p.m., Music Performance with Paul Simon and guitarist Mark Stewart,
                 Schwartz Center for Performing Arts


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Sponsors include: Stanley Beaman & Sears Architects; Natalie and Matthew Bernstein; Betty Bildner and John Power; Creativity: Art & Innovation; Department of English; Department of Film and Media Studies; Department of Music; Development and Alumni Relations; Emory Alumni Association; Emory Center for Ethics and the Ethics & the Arts Initiative; Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts; Emory College of Arts and Sciences; Emory Libraries and Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL); the Hightower Fund; Ms. Susan Hoy; Mrs. Marguerite C. Ingram; Dr. Barry and Tara Issenberg; Judy and Jason Katz; Office of International Affairs; Office of the President; and Kerri and Jeffrey Snow Private Family Foundation. Special thanks to Hal Jacobs, Jeff Kramer, Bev and Marc Lewyn, Salman Rushdie, Eddie Simon, and SmugMug.

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Tickets are free, but are limited to two (2) tickets per person, per event. Tickets for the previously scheduled events will not be honored for the new dates.

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General public complimentary tickets will be available beginning at 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 9, 2013, in person at the Arts at Emory Box Office in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts or by phone at 404.727.5050. Regular parking deck rates apply during this time. Phone orders are subject to a $4.00 convenience fee. Ticket reservations will not be available online for this event.

Tickets ordered by phone will be mailed directly to the ticketholder. All other tickets must be picked up in person at the Arts at Emory Box Office during regular business hours (Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.). There will be no will call or standby seating for any Ellmann Lectures event.

The Arts at Emory Box Office is open Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Its address is:

Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
1700 N. Decatur Road, Suite 251
Atlanta, Georgia 30322

If special accommodations are needed because of a disability or chronic medical condition, contact the Disability Services Office at 404.727.9877 (voice) or 404.712.2049 (TDD).



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draft of Love and Hard Times lyrics by Paul Simon

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Billy Collins

A public conversation between Paul Simon and former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts takes place on Monday, September 23, 2013.

photo of Billy Collins by Steven Kovich

Former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins is an American phenomenon.

No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal. His work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and the American Scholar, and he is a Guggenheim fellow and a New York Public Library “Literary Lion.” His last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry. His readings are usually standing room only, and his audience—enhanced tremendously by his appearances on National Public Radio—includes people of all backgrounds and age groups. The poems themselves best explain this phenomenon. The typical Collins poem opens on a clear and hospitable note but soon takes an unexpected turn; poems that begin in irony may end in a moment of lyric surprise. No wonder Collins sees his poetry as “a form of travel writing” and considers humor “a door into the serious.” It is a door that many thousands of readers have opened with amazement and delight. 

Collins has published eight collections of poetry, including Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Picnic, Lightning, Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems, Nine Horses, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, and Ballistics, and most recently, Horoscopes for the Dead. A collection of his haiku, titled She Was Just Seventeen, was published by Modern Haiku Press in fall 2006. He also edited two anthologies of contemporary poetry: Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, was the guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2006, and edited Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds, with paintings by David Allen Sibley (November 2009). His next book, Aimless Love: Poems 2003–2013, will be released in March 2013.

John Updike review of Billy Collins

Included among the honors Collins has received are fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has also been awarded the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, and the Levinson Prize—all awarded by Poetry magazine. In October 2004, Collins was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry. 

In June 2001, Collins was appointed United States Poet Laureate 2001–2003. In January 2004, he was named New York State Poet Laureate 2004–2006. Collins is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, as well as a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. 


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