About Us

The Katonah Poetry Series—a program of the Katonah Village Library—was founded in 1967 by Robert Phillips, a local resident, accomplished poet and advertising man. When Mr. Phillips left to teach at the University of Houston, two-time Poet Laureate Billy Collins, then a resident of nearby Somers, took it on. Billy Collins directed the Series from 1991-2008, his leadership enhancing its reputation in the literary world and drawing audiences from the greater Tri-State area. Since 2008, Collins has continued to act as Poet Advisor to the Series. From 2008 through July 2010, Billy Collins’ long-time co-director, psychotherapist and poet Leisha Douglas, Ph.D. served as series director with Marlene Gallagher, artist and poet, as assistant director. The series is now run by the KPS Executive Committee, a small group of dedicated volunteers.

Poets Advisory Board:

Billy Collins 

Former United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins has published many collections of poetry including Questions About AngelsThe Art of DrowningPicnic, LightningTaking Off Emily Dickinson’s ClothesSailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected PoemsNine HorsesThe Trouble With Poetry and Other PoemsBallistics 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 also edited two anthologies of contemporary poetry: Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. He 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). In November 2011 he was honored with the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry. Billy Collins came “home” to read for the Katonah Poetry Series in April, 2014 in honor of his most recent book of new and selected poems, Aimless Love (2014).

Leisha Douglas 

Is a full time psychotherapist in practice in NYC and Katonah, NY. Her poetry has been published in The Cortland Review, Ginbender Poetry Review, Ghoti and The Writer. She is also Media Editor for The Hakomi Forum.

Careful consideration is given to each poet who reads for the series. The schedule is arranged many months in advance. We appreciate the many suggestions we receive about poets for future readings. All ideas are passed on to Billy Collins and Dr. Leisha Douglas but they are unable to respond personally to these requests

Katonah Poetry Series Executive Committee

The Committee  supports the Series by organizing and promoting readings and other events, as well as raising funds. We work in close collaboration with the Katonah Library Board of Trustees.

Officers 2017-2019
Moira Thielking – President    
Julie Nord – Publicity

Committee Members 2017-2019
Jessica Bennett, Katherine Dering
Alex Lindquist, Stephen Peeples

Former Officers 
Sincere thanks to:
Barb Chintz – Treasurer
Andy Kuhn – Vice President
Stephen Peeples – Co-Presdient & Treasurer
Rebecca Rogan – President

Special thanks to Leslye Smith of Studio Smith Photography for her time and talents as our designated event photographer, and Gail Greenstein for her gracious presence at guest services.

The Katonah Poetry Series is a subsidiary affiliate of the Katonah Village Library