Billy Collins was born in New York City in 1941. Collins is a member of the faculty of SUNY Stonybrook Southampton College, where he teaches poetry workshops. He was appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He served as Poet Laureate in New York from 2004 to 2006. He has been named Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Winter Park Institute in Winter Park, Florida. In his early ages, he attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains and received a B.A. (English) from the college of the Holy Cross in 1963 and received his M.A. and PhD in English from the University of California, Riverside. Billy Collins has been called “The most popular poet in America” by the New York Times. The poem on Turning Ten by Billy Collins was written in 1996. The poem is about leaving the childhood behind and growing up. It gives new perspective on aging and how it feels when becoming old. Over the years, the U.S. magazine Poetry has awarded Collins several prizes in recognition of poems they publish. During the 1990s, Collins won five such prizes. The magazine also selected him as "Poet of the Year" in 1994. In 2005 Collins was the first annual recipient of its Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and in 1993, from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.