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George appears onstage with Garrison Keillor on A Prairie Home Companion.

“Cheeky nephew of Billy Collins, brash blunt brother of Tony Hoagland, George Bilgere writes the poetry of frontal candor about desire, nostalgia, and sweet sad vanity. The rest of us professor poetry guys maybe better give up writing funny-ruefully about our typical lucky lives, because Bilgere has the territory so well-covered.”

—Mark Halliday

“Bilgere is a mature, hilarious poet contemplating his own mortality.”

—Denise Duhamel


When George won the Cleveland Arts Prize (past recipients include Pulitzer Prize winners Mary Oliver and Toni Morrison) a film crew was sent out to his modest home in his modest suburb of Cleveland Heights to try to capture an insight into the life that produced the poems that resulted in winning this prestigious honor. Here’s George and his family in his native habitat:

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