US Poet Laureate Billy Collins – Tuesday April 14th @ 7:30pm

Zoellner Arts Center’s Notations Series Features
US Poet Laureate

TUESDAY, APRIL 14 at 7:30 PM in Baker Hall


“Billy Collins writes lovely poems…Limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides.” — John Updike

Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University continues its fifth year of the innovative series–Notations: Lectures and Other Presentations–with highly-respected representatives from a variety of literary genres. Former (2001-2003) U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins will give a presentation on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 pm. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review and The American Scholar. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a New York Public Library “Literary Lion” and a former US Poet Laureate. His last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry. Tickets are $10 for the public; Free with Lehigh University ID; Tickets required for all; Visit

Collins has published ten collections of poetry, including Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Picnic, Lightning, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems, Nine Horses, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead. A collection of his haiku, titled 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, with paintings by David Allen Sibley (November 2009). His most recent book is Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems 2003 – 2013.

Here is a video illustration of his poem, “The Art of Drowning,” directed by Diego Maclean.

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 April 2013, Collins was selected as the fourth winner of the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry.

In June 2001, Collins was appointed United States Poet Laureate 2001-2003. In January 2004, he was named New York State Poet Laureate 2004-06. 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.

All lectures are presented in collaboration with the Visiting Lecturers Committee and the Lehigh University Creative Writing Program. Billy Collins is supported by the Ann Neitzel Endowment Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing with additional support from the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries.

For more information, call 610-758-2787, ext. 0 or visit Zoellner Ticket Services, Tuesday 12-6 pm, or online at

For readers interested in getting to the bottom of this page, here is Billy Collins’ TED talk:

Letter to Malia Obama: Come to Lehigh!

Dear Malia,
As the college application phase of your life begins, we know how daunting of an experience it can be. I thought I might make your decision a little easier with a list of reasons why you should attend Lehigh University. Wherever you choose to attend college, make sure your decision reflects your interests! Here are some reasons why Lehigh would be a good fit for you:
1. 2,600 steps:  Worried about the secret service breathing down your neck? On our campus, nestled atop a mountain in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, there are plenty of places the secret service can hang out and watch over you without getting in your way. Make sure they are good with stairs; we have 2,600 steps on the Lehigh campus. Don’t let that scare you; first-years leave campus in May in the best shape of their lives. Here are some tips on how to “Survive South Mountain.”
2. Connect with your professors: Classes at Lehigh aren’t so big that you’ll get lost in a sea of students. Professors are engaged with students and mentor them in and outside of the classroom. I’ve had professors drop off food at the student newspaper press room when they know we will have a long night. It’s not unusual to find yourself at a professor’s house for dinner continuing a discussion from class.
3. Not your typical dining hall: Lehigh Dining Services provides three residence dining facilities, various retail and café options spread throughout campus, as well as a food court in the University Center. Mom will be happy to know that full menus with nutritional data are all available through the Dining Services Web site. You can even use money loaded on your student ID to take advantage of the awesome downtown Bethlehem restaurants.
4. We beat Duke. : Our Athletic Department lists education as its first priority, and the schedules and academic services available for student-athletes reaffirm that. If you’re interested in pursuing tennis at the Division I level, it’s important that your academics are also prioritized. We also know your dad is a college basketball fan; he might be impressed to know that Lehigh beat Duke in 2012 in the first round of the NCAA playoffs, one of the biggest bracket busters of the year.
5. Musikfest > Lollapalooza: From attending Lollapalooza to rocking a Pro Era shirt, you’re clearly a big music fan. So maybe Musikfest isn’t as well-known as Lollapalooza, but over the past three decades the event has evolved into one of the largest and most diverse music festivals in the nation, with 500-plus shows on 14 stages over 10 days. Each year more than 900,000 people make their way to the Lehigh Valley and the festival, with their sights set on experiencing all the music, food and fun of this musical extravaganza. Year-round, Bethlehem has no shortage of top-name concerts that you can attend.
6. Flexible academic opportunities: Your dad has said that you may want to pursue film-making; there are many opportunities to explore film-making at Lehigh. Journalism majors get first-hand experience editing with Final Cut Pro and with Lehigh’s emphasis on interdisciplinary work and hands-on experience, you could gain film experience through a self-driven Mountaintop project.  Or, if you decide to study something else entirely, like engineering (we’re known for that), Lehigh makes it easy to combine academic interests into an interdisciplinary or dual degree program.
7. Not too close: While you’ll only be in college for a few months before your dad leaves office, Lehigh is a good distance from both Washington, D.C. and Chicago (if your family moves back there). While you will have access to an airplane to take you home whenever you want (the Lehigh Valley airport is right down the road), Lehigh University is the perfect distance to be close to your parents without being too close…
Wherever you choose to go, your peers at Lehigh University wish you lots of luck.
All the best,
Kerry Mallett
Lehigh University, Class of 2015​
posted on behalf of student request

November 4th Notations Speaker, L. Lamar Wilson cancelled.

Zoellner Arts Center’s Notations Series Cancellation;
Poet L. Lamar Wilson Withdraws From November 4, 2014 Lecture

Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University’s speaker series—Notations had to cancel the event on Tuesday, November 4 at 7:30 pm with poet L. Lamar Wilson due to an unforeseen conflict with his schedule on. This event will not be rescheduled.

There are two speakers left on the Notations series; Leland Gantt’s Rhapsody in Black on Thursday, February 19 at 7:30 pm. Gantt’s appearance is free, open to the public. The last speaker of the 2014-2015 season is US Poet Laureate Billy Collins on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 pm. Collins’ appearance is $10 for the general public and free to all students.

These lectures are presented in collaboration with the Ann Neitzel Endowment Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing with additional support from the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries, Visiting Lecturers Committee and the Lehigh University Creative Writing Program. This partnership is another way that Zoellner Arts Center, with the support of its sponsors, is able to offer free educational opportunities to the community.

Mercy Killers; Zoellner Guest Artist – Course Connections

Last year, the Zoellner Arts Center facilitated an opportunity for students, faculty and program directors to gather for reflection and insight on the theme of “Beauty” with the Jane Comfort Dance Company. This season, Zoellner is presenting more performing arts experiences with the intention of inspiring reflection and dialog on themes that cross multiple academic disciplines. The first of these presentations is the one-man show, Mercy Killers.

Michael Milligan Residency

Wed-Friday; September 10-12, 2014


The Story

Blue collar ‘Joe’ grapples with his red state ideals when he realizes the measures he must take to care for his beloved wife.  A surprisingly tender lover story, Mercy Killers is an unblinking look at health care in America.

Planning Details:

Tickets are $10 (for public) and free to all Lehigh students, faculty and staff for both performances.

  • Thursday, Sept 11that 4:30pm
  • Friday, September 12that 7:30pm

The play is quite intimate, with audience seating on the stage. It is a one act; 65 minutes running time. Following each performance, a Q&A session with Lehigh faculty in other academic disciplines from the Health Medicine and Society program.


“Mercy Killers makes public the suffering that thousands of American families experience in private. I was inspired by the performance, and energized to move our state from health insurance for some to health care for all.” – John Marty, State Senator, MN

“Mercy Killers reveals the barbarity of it all through the story of Joe, a man who was ‘all about the American dream’ until the system hits, hits, and hits again. A deeply affecting love story, Mike Milligan astonishes.”  – Connie Julian, Revolution Books

“Michael Milligan’s breathtaking performance of a shattered man in the throws of a healthcare nightmare, made only worse by the twists and turns of insurance companies, truly humanizes the vast inequities of America’s for-profit health insurance system. You will be talking about Mercy Killers long after the curtain draws.” – Josh Starcher, Healthcare-Now! NYC

About the playwright/Actor 

Milligan has been writing and acting for the theater for almost two decades.  He has appeared on Broadway in August Osage County, La Bete and Jerusalem.  No stranger to the one man show, Milligan performed Will Eno’s title role of Thom Pain in the original New York run.  A reading of Milligan’s verse play, Phaeton, was presented by the Harold Clurman Theater Lab featuring Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley.  Milligan received his training from Julliard where he won the John Houseman Prize for excellence in classical drama.  He has performed Shakespearean roles around the world and is a sometime instructor of Shakespeare at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

We are planning an Acting/Playwriting workshop with Michael following the Thursday afternoon performance and after a dinner break. There are also open times available in his residency schedule for classroom visits on Friday morning and afternoon. If you have any interest in Mr. Mulligan meet with your class; even if outside your scheduled class meeting time, we’d be happy to arrange it. Please forward all inquiries to Silagh White by email

Time for student brilliance again

(thoughts from the director….)

April is typically a very busy time in Lehigh’s cycle of life. Just as the sun rises each day, April is the month when students are wrapping up course requirements, presenting major capstone projects, making final edits to creative writing pieces, and marathon rehearsals for last of the season’s performances. Some students are launching Kickstarter campaigns or starting small business ventures while others try not to think about graduate school, summer internships or study abroad.

The campus is also alive with nightly award dinners. It’s a great time to bathe in the warm glow of student achievement and wonder at their potential. Collecting trophies, or certificates is a great way to bask in the glory of the moment. But there are also a slew of other ways to celebrate our students’ genius by watching them share their joy in art making; ALL of it.

In the next weeks, we have again the opportunity to watch them dance THEIR dances, play THEIR music, read THEIR words, view THEIR vision of the world and experience THEIR culture. They are sharing their vulnerability through their moment in the spotlight. The memory of what we are about to witness in the remaining days of April will dance across our minds as we watch these students walk across the commencement stage.

These students are alive with wonder and ultimate potential. To watch them shine, is to share the joy in our hearts as we encourage them to keep taking chances. We hope you can find a bit of time away from your own work routine to see the brilliance.  Please consider the connection between tomorrow’s weather forecast, and the student music performances on the University Center Lawn.







There are plenty of other events and activities blooming. Consider subscribing to the weekly newsletter for posts on what’s happening in the next week. After a couple of weeks, if you decide you don’t want to us to collect all the information about what arts events are happening on campus and in South Bethlehem (and sometimes, north side….), just unsubscribe.

Take a look at this week’s listing below the same message you just read above.

Amaranth 2014 – it’s submission time!

Getting published matters! Ask any academic.
We are happy to support the efforts of Amaranth, Lehigh University’s Literary Magazine by sharing their a call for submissions.
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For over a few decades, Amaranth has been Lehigh University’s premier literary magazine. Featuring the best imaginative writing and art work from our undergraduate and graduate students, Amaranth seeks to provide an accessible outlet and source for creative expression throughout the university. Student editors select literary and graphic works for inclusion in their journal and nominate the best of these for the prestigious Williams prize, awarded annually. 2011 witnessed the launch of their online presence and submission portal, and online editions of the magazine will begin appearing in Fall 2014.  They have worked diligently on the site to provide more information on Amaranth and creative possibilities across the campus. They are currently developing a blog and have established a growing social media presence.  They encourage our readers to follow them on Facebook or Twitter for updates, contests, and news.
To contact Amaranth or submit your work, please email them at 
The Amaranth website includes comprehensive information about the magazine including, not not limited to:

Submission Guidelines (as quoted from their website)

Amaranth welcomes short stories, micro fictions, poetry, photography, graphic art, and works of electronic literature. Submissions are accepted from both undergraduate and graduate students and English and non-English majors. Although we receive the majority of our submissions from Creative Writing classes, we also encourage students to pull work from their “half-done” drawer and revise for publication. Please submit no more than two stories, three pieces of visual art (photography and graphic art), and five poems at a time, along with a cover letter explaining your literary interests and career at Lehigh. Cover letters should include a word count and indicate whether the submission is fiction, poetry, or visual art. Simultaneous submissions are accepted on the condition you alert us immediately if your piece is accepted elsewhere.

It is through this literary magazine that Lehigh University students can share their creative writing. Go ahead, reveal your brilliance!