15 Famous Modern Poets You Should be Reading

Introduction: Famous modern poets

This famous modern poet list is a compilation of writers who have had a major impact on the world of poetry. Not only have these writers impacted other writers, but they have also influenced other cultures and communities outside of the world of poetry.

Only a few people in the world can say they’ve written a piece of work that has changed lives and shaped society. But, for most of us, we still enjoy reading and appreciating the works of poets who have influenced our culture. 

The poems of a modern poet can be beautiful, thought-provoking, and sometimes outright heartbreaking. But how many people know about them? In this list, we’ll present 15 modern poets you should be reading.

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15 famous modern poets you should be reading.

Poetry is a beautiful and often misunderstood art form. When it comes to poetry, we have a tendency to think of the old-fashioned poets of the past. And while they were great at what they did, modern poets put their own spin on some of the most famous poems in history. It’s time you live up to your potential and read more modern poets! These six famous contemporary poets are perfect for anyone who wants to be inspired by words.

Edgar Allan Poe

Famous Modern Poets-GEdgar Allan Poe.
Edgar Allan Poe

The life of Edgar Allan Poe is a complicated one. Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809 to an actress mother and travelling theatre player father, Poe was orphaned at the age of two. His maternal grandfather, John Allan, took custody of him until he passed away shortly before Poe’s eighteenth birthday. The loss left the young poet despondent and he eventually moved to Baltimore where he would spend the majority of his life.

The writings of Edgar Allan Poe have had an enduring influence on American Literature. There are so many aspects of his work that would warrant discussion, but the most famous is The Raven. This poem, which was published in 1845, was written after he lost his love, Virginia. With this loss came a whole new world of sadness that he could not escape from no matter how much he tried to find happiness again.

Edgar Allan Poe’s use of dark and gloomy settings in his writing is a result of the dark and dismal places he lived in. This, coupled with his personal struggles such as alcoholism and poverty, led to the creation of many storylines that would later be considered classics in American literature.

In conclusion, Edgar Allan Poe’s writing style is both lyrical and musical. Even though he did not compose music, his images are reminiscent of rhythm and sound. His use of rhythmic sentences in “The Raven” exemplifies how he put the same pattern into the words that he could have easily put into notes in a song.

Ezra Pound

Famous Modern Poets-Ezra Pound

American poet Ezra Pound is without a doubt one of the most significant poets of the twentieth century. Pound is best known for his contribution to the Imagist movement in poetry, as well as for being one of the founders of Vorticism. Pound’s work spans many genres including classical literature, journalism, essays, translations and criticism. His work often deals with political and economic issues, both national and international.

In the early 20th century, Ezra Pound had a profound impact on the literary world in London and America respectively. Although they had different backgrounds and approaches to poetry, both these influential poets were seen as some of the most important figures of their time. 

Ezra Pound, after coming into contact with the philosopher Henri Bergson, became convinced that explicit detail is not necessary in poetry. He believed that poets should evoke emotion in readers using suggestions and implications. These ideas are later referred to as “Pound’s theory of ideograms.” Pound was also a well-known political activist, supporting fascists in Italy and Mussolini during his time in London.

Ezra Pound has had more influence on literature than any other person of his generation. As a translator, journalist, and poet he became essential in transferring culture to America after WWI.

T.S. Eliot

Famous Modern Poets-T. S. Eliot
T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot is a poet, critic, and editor who helped write the literary canon in English. His work includes “The Waste Land,” which is often referred to as a modernist masterpiece.

T. S. Eliot was born in St. Louis to a well-to-do family of Anglo-Catholic scholars. He attended Harvard, where he earned honors in both academics and athletics, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Philosophy in 1915. During his time at Harvard, he also learned French and became interested in philosophy, poetry in French, and literature from the 14th century to the 19th century.

Eliot is one of the most influential poets of the twentieth century. He was also a prolific essayist and literary critic. He was born in St.Louis, Missouri to an Anglo-Catholic family who expected him to lead a life in which he became an Anglican priest or academician. Eliot was a talented poet and critic who concentrated on rural society. He used many poetic techniques, including rhetorical questions, repetition, imagery, and hidden messages.

T.S. Eliot was a literary genius and a renowned poet. His poetic style revolutionized the art form of poetry, and he’s been hailed as one of the greatest poets of all time.

Sylvia Plath

Famous Modern Poets-Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was a genius of poetry. She wrote some of the most famous poems in history and is definitely one to read.

Sylvia Plath is one of the most well-known poets of the twentieth century. Born in Boston, Massachusetts to German-American parents on October 27, 1932, she excelled at school and even received a scholarship to Harvard University. But Sylvia wanted something more than an education; she wanted to write. Upon graduating from college, she attended Cambridge University on a Fulbright Scholarship where she met her husband, Ted Hughes.

The life of Sylvia Plath is one that has fascinated many people for decades. Her short, tragic life ended in 1963 at the age of thirty-two. As an original member of the Boston Poetry scene, Plath’s work has had a profound impact on American poetry. One of her most famous poems, “Daddy”, is about her father’s suicide and how it affected her life as a child. Other classic poems by Plath include “Lady Lazarus,” “The Applicant,” and “Ariel.”Sylvia Plath is an intriguing and powerful poet that has been studied for decades because of her unique work.

Plath has been the subject of much analysis and study over the past fifty years. With all of this study, it is clear that she was a masterful writer who not only exhibited great talents but also battles with mental illness. Her use of symbolism, imagery and figurative language makes her work read like poetry. She is one of the most studied writers in history because she had such an intense life which created deep insight into her writing.

Emily Dickinson

Famous Modern Poets-Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson

Many people may know the name Emily Dickinson because of her many poems that were found after her death. However, she also wrote letters to friends and family during her lifetime as well as many other forms of prose such as essays and journals. She would often use an ampersand (&) to replace words or phrases that she felt unworthy to be read by others. Emily Dickinson was born on December 10th, 1830.

She used her writing to express herself and her feelings in an unconventional way compared to her male contemporaries who were writing at the time. The real name of this woman is not known, but she adopted the pen name of Emily Dickinson. She is one of the best-known poets in the United States. Some of her most famous poems are “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and “I’m Nobody.

Emily Dickinson must have been a very interesting person, as she created such an amazing body of work. It is important to remember that she was never promoted to the same level as male poets like Walt Whitman and that she suffered from depression. Emily Dickinson’s legacy is one that will surely last for many years, and we should all celebrate her creativity and talent.

Dylan Thomas

Famous Modern Poets-Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas was born October 27, 1914, into a Welsh colliery family. He was raised around his father’s pubs in Wales, the Welsh valleys, and the port of Swansea. Dylan left school at age 14 to work as a reporter on the South Wales Daily Post. He later became a freelance writer for London newspapers and published short stories in magazines such as The New Yorker.

Thomas was one of the most celebrated Welsh poets of the 20th century. He studied literature at Oxford University and began publishing his poems in his twenties. His work, with its use of striking imagery and its attention to natural details, is renowned for its beauty; some critics claim that he was the greatest poet of the twentieth century.

He was known for his raw and unapologetic writing style, which is still considered to be some of the best in modern poetry today. Some of his most famous works include “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” and “The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower.”

Dylan Thomas was an influential poet who had a significant impact on the world. His poems often centre around themes of death, nature, and beauty which are important to his work. It is important to honour Dylan’s legacy through reading his work.

Maya Angelou

Famous Modern Poets-Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is considered by many to be one of the most influential poets of her generation. She was a dancer, actress, author, and a civil rights activist who inspired countless people. Particularly with her poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” which recounts her life from childhood to adulthood and the struggle she faced in spite of racism. Maya Angelou has been called one of America’s greatest poets because of the way she tells stories in such beautiful ways.

Beginning with her struggles as a young African American girl growing up in the South during World War II, Maya Angelou grew to become one of the most celebrated authors, poets, and civil rights activists in United States history.

She has been lauded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century and she has received more than 50 honorary degrees from colleges and universities. In 1998, Oprah Winfrey presented Angelou with her own television show, “Oprah’s Book Club,” which was on for two seasons on national TV. The PBS series “American Masters” honoured her by naming their 2000 TV series after her.

Angelou also received many awards for her work including two Grammys, two NAACP Image Awards, three Pulitzer Prize nominations, and a Tony Award nomination. Born Marguerite Annie Johnson to parents Vivian Baxter and Bailey Johnson, Maya was not well-received by her family due to their racial differences.

Maya Angelou wrote about her experience in a way that helped people understand what she went through. She gave a voice to the voiceless and showed others how to live in a way that would honour their lives. He writing is still being shared today, not only because of her talent for writing but also because of the powerful message she conveys.

Pablo Neruda

Famous Modern Poets-Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was born Neftalí Reyes Basoalto on July 12, 1904, in Parral, Chile. Though he was christened Pablo Reyes Nefalí, his mother passed away soon after his birth and he was raised by his maternal grandparents. He attended elementary school in Temuco and later enrolled at the University of Chile where he studied law.

Neruda is often referred to as one of the most important figures in twentieth-century literature. He wrote poems and essays about his homeland, which he loved so much that he even returned after it had been taken over by the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Though Neruda published many volumes of poetry, The Captain’s Verses, published posthumously in 1987, was considered his masterpiece.

Pablo Neruda was an incredibly talented poet that has influenced many other poets. He was also a Nobel Prize winner who wrote about themes of love, nature, and the beauty of life.

John Keats

Famous Modern Poets-John Keats
John Keats

John Keats is a well-known English Romantic poet from the 19th century. His most famous piece is his ode to vernal equinox, “To Autumn”. In 1820, at age 19, he enrolled at a prestigious school in London called Guy’s Hospital to study medicine. He soon realized that he was not cut out for the discipline and abandoned it to study art.

He had an early education in Enfield, after which he attended King’s College, continuing to study medicine for a time. His first poetry was published in 1816 before his death the following year. Keats was born on October 31st, 1795 in London, England. His father died when he was only one month old and his mother passed away when he was eight years old.

He was one of the most well-known poets of the Romantic Period, John Keats had a relatively short life and wrote a large number of poems. Considering just how prolific he was, it is difficult to pinpoint his most famous work. John Keats never achieved high levels of financial security or academic standing, but he will always be remembered as an exceptionally talented poet.

John Keats’s poetry is short but sweet, containing only the most powerful of words. His poetry brings out the true emotions of his heart and shares them with his readers. Readers will find John Keats’s poetry beautiful and heartfelt.

Walt Whitman

Famous Modern Poets-Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman was an American poet and journalist, who is often called the “father of free verse”. Born on May 31, 1819 in West Hills, Brooklyn, Whitman had a difficult childhood with his abusive father and failed to graduate from high school. His first job was as a printer’s apprentice; he later taught school in New Jersey. At age 24, he went to work for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, eventually becoming editor-in-chief.

His father was a schoolmaster and his mother died when he was nine years old. Walt would eventually leave school to work at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle after his father’s death in 1837. He appreciated how his position permitted him to travel around Brooklyn and Manhattan and interact with people from all walks of life.

Whitman had a very distinguished career as a poet, editor, and public speaker. He published his first volume of poems in 1855. His poems were often controversial because he wanted to include all people in America in his poetry even if it wasn’t their time yet. Some other famous works of Whitman are “Song of Myself” and “I Sing The Body Electric.

Walt Whitman’s work is an inspiration to many people because of the raw honesty that he includes in his work. His words can often feel like a breath of fresh air, or a window into another perspective. His poetry was originally self-published as a supplement to his lectures, and it has been said that this is partly because of the controversy and public shame the book would cause.

Amiri Baraka

Famous Modern Poets-Amiri Baraka
Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka is an African-American poet (born Everett LeRoi Jones), was one of the most influential poets in the United States, whose powerful words continue to resonate with audiences. Born in Newark, New Jersey on October 7th, 1934, to a black mother and a white father. His mother never married his father, and when he was just four years old, she moved to New York City with him and their two sisters, leaving his father behind in the South. Baraka is often hailed as the “laureate of hip-hop” due to his work with music and is recognized for his early advocacy of what is now referred to as rap.

A playwright, essayist, teacher, and musician. Amiri Baraka takes his pen name from the Bantu word for “precious stone”. His works are characterized by his beliefs in Marxism and Black nationalism. He incorporated jazz, blues, and folk in his work.

The life of Amiri Baraka is an important one that should be better understood. He was a man with complexities and contradictions, but nonetheless, he paved the way for other African American writers to follow in his footsteps.

Anne Sexton

Famous Modern Poets-Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton was an American poet and writer most famous for her confessional poetry. Born in 1928 in Newton, Massachusetts, Anne Sexton published her first volume of poems in 1960 with W.W. Norton & Co., titled To Bedlam and Part Way Back, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1961. It was the second book of poetry ever to win the award.

Sexton struggled with depression and bouts of mental illness that date back to her childhood. She was afflicted by hard times, and she found inspiration in these difficult moments, as her literary work reflects the pain and emotional turmoil that is so often a reminder of life’s fragility.

He poetry often dealt with the psychological fragility and fragility of life. She authored nine books of poetry, including her most famous work “Live or Die.” Sexton suffered from depression and eventually committed suicide at age 45. She wrote about mental illness and the struggle with depression. Her work is often raw and honest, which means it can be difficult to read at times. It’s a dark journey through the mind of one woman, with all its foibles and glory.

Though she has committed suicide, her poems are still read all over the world. Anne’s poetry is memorable because it often explores dark themes such as death and insanity. While Anne sometimes wrote about dark subjects, she also found beauty in the everyday aspects of life that many people overlook or take for granted.

Langston Hughes

Famous Modern Poets-Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes is widely considered to be one of the most important American poets of the 20th century. He was born in Joplin, Missouri, but he spent his childhood in Kansas City, Missouri. His mother was a teacher and his father was a preacher. He attended Lincoln University as an undergraduate and then went on to earn his masters from Columbia University. As a poet, Hughes is well known for being extremely prolific and working for social justice throughout his life. His work addressed racial politics, social injustices, and prejudices that African Americans faced before the civil rights era.

Hughes is one of the most prolific poets and writers of the Harlem Renaissance. He is best known for his poem, “Dream Deferred” which has been read aloud to many around the world. His life was full of strife, but he continued to write about the African-American experience in America. In 1932, he married a woman from Trinidad named Fannie Palmer and had two children with her.

Langston Hughes has been one of the most celebrated poets in the United States throughout his lifetime. The author of “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” Hughes is often considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, for he has written about topics that are still prevalent today. His work has influenced many following generations and continues to speak volumes to people everywhere.

In conclusion, Langston Hughes is a great American poet who has been an inspiration to so many. His poems have been read and sung by people from all walks of life. It is important to take the time to read Langston Hughes’ poems and learn from his life story.

Robert Frost

Famous Modern Poets-Robert Frost
Robert Frost

Robert Frost is one of the most famous poets in America. His poems are celebrated across the country, and many can still recite his poem “The Road Not Taken” by heart. He was born in 1874 to a well-off family in San Francisco, where he spent his childhood. He spent much of his time outdoors as a child, which likely influenced the nature themes he explored later in life. He became famous for his realistic depictions of rural life in New England.

Frost was a very interesting poet from the early 20th century. He is most well known for his collection of poems that form a narrative called A Boy’s Will. His poems all have a strong sense of nostalgia, and also have a naturalistic style that is reminiscent of Walt Whitman.

Frost was a brilliant poet who has managed to connect with many people through his writing. In order to fully enjoy his work, it is important to read the poems as one would read any other poem, and not as stand-alone pieces of literature.

William Butler Yeats

Famous Modern Poets-William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats

The Irish poet and Nobel laureate, William Butler Yeats’ work is known throughout the world. He was born in 1865 to a wealthy family in Dublin, Ireland, and began his studies at the age of six. Yeats met Ezra Pound in London in 1912 and corresponded with him for twenty-five years. The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains depicts how Yeats feels about life through his own eyes while he is travelling to Egypt on a ship filled with businesspeople.

He is best known for his poems and founding of The Abbey Theatre, a national theatre company. Yeats attended art school and became a member of the Dublin literary scene. He found success with his early poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” Over time, he began to write about Irish nationalism and focused less on individualism.

His work often explored themes of nationalism, mythology, knowledge, and love. Yeats got his start as a writer at the age of 20 when he published his first collection of poems titled “The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems.”

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and playwright who has an artistic legacy that is still in progress today. Even though his personal life was difficult, he found the strength to be productive with his writing and live a fulfilling life.


In conclusion, you should be reading these 15 modern poets because they offer a refreshing alternative to traditional poetry, and they will change the way you think about the art form. Many of these poets’ work is available in free places like the library and online. Take the time to explore these modern works and
visit their libraries.

Thank you for taking the time to read. Who is your favourite poets from this list? Share in the comments section below.

Bentinck is a bestselling author in Caribbean and Latin American Poetry, he is a multifaceted individual who excels as both an artist and educator.

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