The Rutgers University–New Brunswick Writers' Conference will feature speakers ranging from bestselling novelists to highly experienced field experts. For a full list of speakers and conference schedule, please visit our sessions page.
American phenomenon Billy Collins has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar. 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.
Collins has published twelve collections of poetry, including Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems, Nine Horses, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, Ballistics, Horoscopes for the Dead and Picnic, Lightning. A collection of his haiku, She Was Just Seventeen, was published by Modern Haiku Press in fall 2006. He has also published two chapbooks, Video Poems and Pokerface. In addition, he has 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, illustrated by David Allen Sibley.
His book, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems 2003 – 2013, was a New York Times bestseller. His most recent book of poetry is titled The Rain in Portugal, and is a New York Times bestseller. Collins has won numerous awards for his poetry and was appointed U.S. Poet Laureate 2001-2003.
Jane Smiley is a novelist and essayist. Her novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. She has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1987. Her novel Horse Heaven was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and her latest novel, Private Life, was chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.
She has contributed to The New Yorker, Elle, Outside, The New York Times, Harper's, The American Prospect, The Guardian, The Nation, and Real Simple, and regularly blogged for The Huffington Post.
In addition to adult novels, she has written several works of nonfiction, including Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, a history and anatomy of the novel as a form, and The Man Who Invented the Computer, an account of the complex and sometimes amazing circumstances that led to one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. She has also published a five volume horse series for young adults. Her most recent novels Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age comprise The Last Hundred Years trilogy covering one hundred years in the life of an Iowa family.