60 Poets You Could Be Reading to Celebrate National Poetry Month

60 Poets You Could Be Reading to Celebrate National Poetry Month

What do you think of when you think of poets? An all-black ensemble and furious typing in a dark, musty room with an old, rusty typewriter? There is so much more to it than that (although I’m sure some writers still like typewriters)! Step into a poetry awakening! Forget what you think you know about the genre. There has been a wide and eclectic group of poets that come from many different generations and backgrounds gracing the pages with their poetic masterpieces for quite some time now.  On the list below there is a good mix of younger and older, men and women, lesser known and more established, and diverse cultural backgrounds represented.

This April (today!) marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month. It’s the largest literary celebration in the world and everyone’s invited! The purpose of the month is to celebrate poetry’s notable impact on our culture. If you just love poetry or if you are a poetry newbie, this list is a great place to start reading some of the literary works from great poets. Read on and discover, in no particular order, some (key word!) of the best poets writing today. Happy National Poetry Month!

1. Thomas Sayers Ellis; The Maverick Room, Skin,Inc.: Identity Repair

2. Julia Alvarez; Homecoming, The Woman I Kept to Myself

3. Carolyn Forche; The Country Between Us

4. Danez Smith; [insert] boy

5. Beth Ann Fennelly; Unmentionables, Tender Hooks

6. Ben Lerner; Angle of Yaw, Mean Free Path

7. Gerald Stern; This Time: New and Selected Poems, Leaving Another Kingdom: Selected Poems

8. Tracy K. Smith; Duende:Poems, Life on Mars: Poems

9. Sandra Beasley; I Was the Jukebox: Poems

10. Deborah Landau; Orchidelirium

11. Brian Turner; Here, Bullet

12. Alicia Ostriker; The Imaginary Lover, The Crack in Everything

13. Michael Waters; Gospel Night, Darling Vulgarity

14. Kim Addonizio; Scary Movies (Poetry, March 2000), Eating Together (Poetry, June 2003)

15. Camille Dungy; Smith Blue

16. Kyle Dargan; Bouquet of Hungers

17. Dorianne Laux; The Book of Men: Poems

18. Jericho Brown; Please (New Issues Poetry & Prose)

19. Dave Lucas; Weather

20. Jennifer Chang; The History of Anonymity

21. Marie Howe; The Kingdom of Ordinary Time

22. Martin Espada; Vivas to Those Who Have Failed

23. Ellen Bass; Like A Beggar

24. Gregory Pardlo; Digest

25. Natasha Trethewey; Native Guard

26. Brian Teare; The Room Where I Was Born

27. Natalie Diaz; When My Brother Was an Aztec

28. Marilyn Chin; Hard Love Province

29. Charles Simic; The World Doesn’t End

30. Claudia Rankine; Citizen: An American Lyric

31. Louise Gluck; The Wild Iris

32. Aimee Nezhukumatathil; Lucky Fish

33. Billy Collins; Voyage

34. Angel Nafis; Be Blk! (Union Station Magazine 2011)

35.  Katherine Larson; Radial Symmetry

36. Richard Siken, War of the Foxes

37. Erika Meitner; Ideal Cities

38. Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan; Shadow Mountain

39. Ricky Laurentiis; Boy with Thorn

40. Aracelis Girmay; Kingdom Animalia

41. Kevin Coval; The Breakfast Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop

42. Ted Kooser; Delights & Shadows

43. Warsan Shire; Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth

44. Patricia Smith; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah

45. Naomi Shihab Nye; You & yours: poems

46. Kay Ryan; The Niagara River

47. W.S. Merwin; The Moon Before Morning

48. D.A. Powell; Lunch

49. Charles Wright; Black Zodiac

50. Juan Felipe Herrera; 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007

51. Sharon Olds; The Wellspring

52. Carl Dennis; Practical Gods

53. Rae Armantrout; Versed

54. Anna Journey; If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting

55. Paul Muldoon; Moy Sand and Gravel

56. Robert Hass; Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005

57. Paisley Rekdal; Animal Eye

58. Terrance Hayes; Lighthead

59. Philip Schultz; Living in the Past

60. Vijay Seshadri; 3 Sections

Know some more poets for readers to discover? Let us know in the comments below! Follow me on Twitter TheBookaholicBee for anything and everything about books!

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