Poetry, like many other art forms, has an ineffable way of expressing and revealing basic human nature through musical rhythms, vivid images and powerful metaphors.
Many women poets have made significant contributions to this field throughout history by using their voices to catalyze social and political change, and their words have never lost their tremendous importance.
Their poetry has the ability to transport readers to their imagined inner world. They are soul torturers or great thinkers who allow readers a new perspective on life. These outstanding female poets create an emotional connection to the written word that few people can do.
Here is a collection of 100 most famous female poets of all time. The list includes many familiar and great female poets such as Sylvia Plath, Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, Margaret Atwood, Mary Oliver. The women poets featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries. Hope you have beautiful moments on PoemFull.Com! All is the best!
|Note that the poets on this list are organized by popularity on social media and the number of views, likes, as well as followers. Therefore, this article is constantly changing and being updated. The position of a poet on this list does not reflect their popularity and position in the history of world poetry.|
Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Emily Dickinson’s life and works have been the source of inspiration to artists, particularly to feminist-oriented artists, of a variety of mediums. Emily Dickinson’s poetry has been translated into languages including French, Spanish, Farsi, Kurdish, Georgian and Russian.
Sappho (Aeolic Greek Ψαπφώ Psapphô; c. 630 – c. 570 BC) was an archaic Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. Sappho is known for her lyric poetry, written to be sung while accompanied by a lyre. Most of Sappho’s poetry is now lost, and what is extant has survived only in fragmentary form, except for one complete poem: the “Ode to Aphrodite”.
3, Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences.
4, Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer, born in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied at Smith College and Newnham College at the University of Cambridge before receiving acclaim as a poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956, and they lived together in the United States and then in England. They had daughter Frieda and son Nicholas before separating in 1962. Plath was clinically depressed for most of her adult life, and she was treated multiple times with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). She committed suicide in 1963.
Sarojini Naidu, née Sarojini Chattopadhyay, (born February 13, 1879, Hyderabad, India—died March 2, 1949, Lucknow), political activist, feminist, poet, and the first Indian woman to be president of the Indian National Congress and to be appointed an Indian state governor. She was sometimes called “the Nightingale of India”. She entered the University of Madras at the age of 12 and studied (1895–98) at King’s College, London, and later at Girton College, Cambridge.
6, Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver (born September 10, 1935) is an American poet. She has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2007 The New York Times described her as “far and away, this country’s best-selling poet.” Mary Oliver’s poetry is grounded in memories of Ohio and her adopted home of New England, setting most of her poetry in and around Provincetown since she moved there in the 1960s. Influenced by both Whitman and Thoreau, she is known for her clear and poignant observances of the natural world.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (November 5, 1850 – October 30, 1919) was an American author and poet. She was born in Johnstown, Wisconsin and her poetry was being published by the time she graduated from high school. Her poetry was very popular, generally written in plain, rhyming verse. Her works include Poems of Passion (1883), A Woman of the World (1904), Poems of Peace (1906), Poems of Experience (1910), and Poems (1919).
Judith Arundell Wright (31 May 1915 – 25 June 2000) was an Australian poet, environmentalist and campaigner for Aboriginal land rights. Wright had written numerous poems, literary criticism and letters in her life and strongly believed the fact that a poet should be concerned with national and social problems. Her works have been awarded a number of times and translated into other languages also, like Italian, Japanese and Russian. Wright was also a highly successful literary critic and had edited several collections of Australian verse in her career. She was a recipient of the Christopher Brennan Award.
9, Jessie Pope
Jessie Pope (18 March 1868 – 14 December 1941) was a British poet, writer and journalist, who remains best known for her patriotic motivational poems published during World War I. Wilfred Owen wrote his 1917 poem Dulce et Decorum est to Pope, whose literary reputation has faded into relative obscurity as those of war poets such as Owen and Siegfried Sassoon have grown.
10, Kamala Das
Kamala Surayya (born Kamala; 31 March 1934 – 31 May 2009), popularly known by her one-time pen name Madhavikutty and married name Kamala Das, was an Indian English poet as well as a leading Malayalam author from Kerala, India. Her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography, while her oeuvre in English, written under the name Kamala Das, is noted for the poems and explicit autobiography. She was also a widely read columnist and wrote on diverse topics including women’s issues, child care, politics among others.
11, Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) was an American poet and short-story writer. She was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry in 1956, the National Book Award winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976. She is considered one of the finest poets of the 20th century.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (February 22, 1892 – October 19, 1950) was an American poet and playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, and was also known for her feminist activism. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work. The poet Richard Wilbur asserted, “She wrote some of the best sonnets of the century.”
13, Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928 – October 4, 1974) was an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die. Her poetry details her long battle with depression, suicidal tendencies, and various intimate details from her private life, including relationships with her husband and children whom it was later revealed she physically and sexually assaulted.
14, Emily Brontë
Emily Jane Brontë (30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) was an English novelist and poet who is best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. Emily was the third-eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother Branwell. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.
Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894) was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children’s poems. She is famous for writing “Goblin Market” and “Remember”. She also wrote the words of two Christmas carols well known in the British Isles: “In the Bleak Midwinter”, later set to music by Gustav Holst and by Harold Darke, and “Love Came Down at Christmas”, also set by Harold Darke and other composers.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861) was an English poet of the Victorian era, popular in Britain and the United States during her lifetime. Elizabeth’s work had a major influence on prominent writers of the day, including the American poets Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson. She is remembered for such poems as “How Do I Love Thee?” (Sonnet 43, 1845) and Aurora Leigh (1856).
17, Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000) was an American poet, author, and teacher. Her work often dealt with the personal celebrations and struggles of ordinary people in her community. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on May 1, 1950, for Annie Allen, making her the first African American to receive the Pulitzer. Throughout her prolific writing career, Brooks received many more honors. She was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968, a position she held until her death, and what is now the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress for the 1985–86 term. In 1976, she became the first African-American woman inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
18, Nikki Giovanni
Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni, Jr. (born June 7, 1943) is an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. One of the world’s most well-known African-American poets, her work includes poetry anthologies, poetry recordings, and nonfiction essays, and covers topics ranging from race and social issues to children’s literature. She has won numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal and the NAACP Image Award. She has been nominated for a Grammy Award for her poetry album, The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection. Additionally, she has been named as one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 “Living Legends”.
19, Anna Akhmatova
Anna Andreyevna Gorenko (23 June [O.S. 11 June] 1889 – 5 March 1966), better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova, was one of the most significant Russian poets of the 20th century. She was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in 1965 and received second-most (three) nominations for the award the following year. Primary sources of information about Akhmatova’s life are relatively scant, as war, revolution and the totalitarian regime caused much of the written record to be destroyed.
20, Marianne Moore
Marianne Craig Moore (November 15, 1887 – February 5, 1972) was an American modernist poet, critic, translator, and editor. Her poetry is noted for formal innovation, precise diction, irony, and wit. Moore’s most famous poem is perhaps the one entitled, appropriately, “Poetry”, in which she hopes for poets who can produce “imaginary gardens with real toads in them”. It also expressed her idea that meter, or anything else that claims the exclusive title “poetry”, is not so important as delight in language and precise, heartfelt expression in any form. Moore’s meter was radically separate from the English tradition; writing her syllabic poems after the advent of free verse, she was encouraged thereby to try previously unusual meters.
21, Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde (born Audrey Geraldine Lorde; February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. As a poet, she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, and the exploration of black female identity.
22, Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker (née Rothschild; August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American poet, writer, critic, and satirist based in New York; she was best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary works published in such magazines as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the breakup of the circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed when her involvement in left-wing politics resulted in the being placed on the Hollywood blacklist. Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a “wisecracker.” Nevertheless, both her literary output and reputation for sharp wit have endured.
23, Charlotte Brontë
Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels became classics of English literature. She enlisted in school at Roe Head in January 1831, aged 14 years. She left the year after to teach her sisters, Emily and Anne, at home, returning in 1835 as a governess. In 1839 she undertook the role as governess for the Sidgwick family, but left after a few months to return to Haworth where the sisters opened a school, but failed to attract pupils. Instead they turned to writing and they each first published in 1846 under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Her first novel The Professor was rejected by publishers, her second novel Jane Eyre was published in 1847. The sisters admitted to their Bell pseudonyms in 1848, and by the following year were celebrated in London literary circles. Brontë experienced the early deaths of all her siblings. She became pregnant shortly after her marriage in June 1854 but died on 31 March 1855 of tuberculosis or possibly typhus.
24, Phillis Wheatley
Phillis Wheatley, also spelled Phyllis and Wheatly (c. 1753 – December 5, 1784) was the first published African-American female poet. Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.
25, Adrienne Rich
Adrienne Cecile Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012) was an American poet, essayist and feminist. She was called “one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the 20th century”, and was credited with bringing “the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse.” Her first collection of poetry, A Change of World, was selected by renowned poet W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. Auden went on to write the introduction to the published volume. She famously declined the National Medal of Arts, protesting the vote by House Speaker Newt Gingrich to end funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, O.S.H. (English: Sister Joan Agnes of the Cross; 12 November 1648 – 17 April 1695), was a self-taught scholar and student of scientific thought, philosopher, composer, and poet of the Baroque school, and Hieronymite nun of New Spain. She was known as a nun who demonstrated the courage to challenge opinions and speak out for her beliefs. Her outspoken opinion granted her lifelong names such as, “The Tenth Muse”, “The Phoenix of America”, or the “Mexican Phoenix”.
Mary Elizabeth Frye (born Dayton, Ohio; November 13, 1905 – September 15, 2004) was an American poet and florist, best known as the author of the poem Do not stand at my grave and weep, written in 1932. The poem for which she became famous was originally composed on a brown paper shopping bag, and was reportedly inspired by the story of a young Jewish girl, Margaret Schwarzkopf, who had been staying with the Frye household and had been unable to visit her dying mother in Germany because of anti-Semitic unrest. Because people liked her twelve-line, untitled verse, Frye made many copies and circulated them privately. She never published the poem.
Hilda “H.D.” Doolittle (September 10, 1886 – September 27, 1961) was an American poet, novelist, and memoirist, associated with the early 20th century avant-garde Imagist group of poets, including Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington. She published under the pen name H.D. She had a deep interest in Ancient Greek literature, and her poetry often borrowed from Greek mythology and classical poets. Her work is noted for its incorporation of natural scenes and objects, which are often used to emote a particular feeling or mood.
29, Sara Teasdale
Sara Teasdale (August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933) was an American lyric poet. She was born Sarah Trevor Teasdale in St. Louis, Missouri, and used the name Sara Teasdale Filsinger after her marriage in 1914. From 1904 to 1907, Teasdale was a member of The Potters, led by Lillie Rose Ernst, a group of female artists in their late teens and early twenties who published, from 1904 to 1907, The Potter’s Wheel, a monthly artistic and literary magazine in St. Louis.From 1911 to 1914 Teasdale was courted by several men, including the poet Vachel Lindsay, who was truly in love with her but did not feel that he could provide enough money or stability to keep her satisfied. She chose to marry Ernst Filsinger, a longtime admirer of her poetry, on December 19, 1914. In 1933, she died by suicide, overdosing on sleeping pills. Lindsay had died by suicide two years earlier. She is interred in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.
30, Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton (June 27, 1936 in Depew, New York – February 13, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland) was an American poet, writer, and educator from Buffalo, New York. From 1979 to 1985 she was Poet Laureate of Maryland. Clifton was a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Lucille Clifton received a Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1970 and 1973, and a grant from the Academy of American Poets. She received the Charity Randall prize, the Jerome J. Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review, and an Emmy Award.
31, Louise Glück
Louise Elisabeth Glück (born April 22, 1943) is an American poet. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2003, after serving as a Special Bicentennial Consultant three years prior in 2000. She won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2014 for Faithful and Virtuous Night. She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1999 was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2003 she was named as judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets and served in that position through 2010. Glück was appointed the US Poet Laureate from 2003–2004, succeeding Billy Collins.
32, Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye (Arabic: نعومي شهاب ناي), (born March 12, 1952) is a poet, songwriter, and novelist. She was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother. She began composing her first poem at the age of six and has published or contributed to over 30 volumes. Her works include poetry, young-adult fiction, picture books, and novels. Although she calls herself a “wandering poet”, she refers to San Antonio as her home. She says a visit to her grandmother in the West Bank village of Sinjil was a life-changing experience. Nye received the 2013 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in honor of her entire body of work as a writer.
33, Gwen Harwood
Gwen Harwood AO (8 June 1920 – 4 December 1995), née Gwendoline Nessie Foster, was an Australian poet and librettist. Gwen Harwood is regarded as one of Australia’s finest poets, publishing over 420 works, including 386 poems and 13 librettos. She won numerous poetry awards and prizes, and one of Australia’s most significant poetry prizes, the Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize is named for her. Her work is commonly studied in schools and university courses. Gwen Harwood was the mother of the author John Harwood.
34, Margaret Atwood
Margaret Eleanor Atwood CC OOnt CH FRSC FRSL (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher and environmental activist. She has published seventeen books of poetry, sixteen novels, ten books of non-fiction, eight collections of short fiction, eight children’s books, and one graphic novel, as well as a number of small press editions in poetry and fiction. Atwood and her writing have won numerous awards and honors including the Man Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clarke Award, Governor General’s Award, Franz Kafka Prize, and the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards. Atwood is also the inventor and developer of the LongPen and associated technologies that facilitate the remote robotic writing of documents.
35, Thylias Moss
Thylias Moss (born February 27, 1954, in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American poet, writer, experimental filmmaker, sound artist and playwright, of African-American, Native American, and European heritage, who has published a number of poetry collections, children’s books, essays, and multimedia work she calls poems, products of acts of making, related to her work in Limited Fork Theory. Among her awards are a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, an Artist’s Fellowship from the Massachusetts Arts Council, an NEA grant, and the Witter Bynner Poetry Prize. Literary critic Harold Bloom has favorably compared her work to that of Anne Carson.
36, Denise Levertov
Priscilla Denise Levertov (24 October 1923 – 20 December 1997) was an American poet. She was a recipient of the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry. Levertov wrote and published 24 books of poetry, and also criticism and translations. She also edited several anthologies. Among her many awards and honours, she received the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Frost Medal, the Lenore Marshall Prize, the Lannan Award, a Catherine Luck Memorial Grant, a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
37, Louise Bogan
Louise Bogan (August 11, 1897 – February 4, 1970) was an American poet. She was appointed the fourth Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress in 1945, and was the first woman to hold this title. Throughout her life she wrote poetry, fiction, and criticism, and became the regular poetry reviewer for The New Yorker. Not only was it difficult being a female poet in the 1930s and 1940s, but her lower-middle-class Irish background and limited education also brought on much ambivalence and contradiction for Louise Bogan. She even refused to review women poets in her early career and stated, “I have found from bitter experience that one woman poet is at a disadvantage in reviewing another, if the review be not laudatory.”
Kathleen Mansfield Murry (née Beauchamp; 14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923) was a prominent New Zealand modernist short story writer who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield. At the age of 19, Mansfield left New Zealand and settled in England, where she became a friend of writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. In 1917, she was diagnosed with extrapulmonary tuberculosis, that claimed her life at age 34.
39, Anne Brontë
Anne Brontë (17 January 1820 – 28 May 1849) was an English novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. The daughter of Patrick Brontë, a poor Irish clergyman in the Church of England, Anne Brontë lived most of her life with her family at the parish of Haworth on the Yorkshire moors. She also attended a boarding school in Mirfield between 1836 and 1837. At 19 she left Haworth and worked as a governess between 1839 and 1845. After leaving her teaching position, she fulfilled her literary ambitions. She published a volume of poetry with her sisters (Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, 1846) and two novels. Agnes Grey, based upon her experiences as a governess, was published in 1847. Her second and last novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels, appeared in 1848. Like her poems, both her novels were first published under the masculine pen name of Acton Bell. Anne’s life was cut short when she died of what is now suspected to be pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 29.
Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar (better known as Dorothea Mackellar), OBE (1 July 1885 – 14 January 1968) was an Australian poet and fiction writer. Her poem My Country is widely known in Australia, especially its second stanza, which begins: “I love a sunburnt country/A land of sweeping plains,/Of ragged mountain ranges,/Of droughts and flooding rains.” Although she was raised in a professional urban family, Mackellar’s poetry is usually regarded as quintessential bush poetry, inspired by her experience on her brothers’ farms near Gunnedah, in the north-west of New South Wales.
41, Amy Lowell
Amy Lawrence Lowell (February 9, 1874 – May 12, 1925) was an American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts. She posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926. In the post-World War I years, Lowell was largely forgotten, but the women’s movement in the 1970s and women’s studies brought her back to light. According to Heywood Broun, however, Lowell personally argued against feminism.
42, Alice Walker
Alice Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist. She wrote the novel The Color Purple (1982), for which she won the National Book Award for hardcover fiction, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She also wrote the novels Meridian (1976) and The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970), among other works. An avowed feminist, Walker coined the term “womanist” to mean “A black feminist or feminist of color” in 1983.
Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (Russian: Мари́на Ива́новна Цвета́ева, 8 October [O.S. 26 September] 1892 – 31 August 1941) was a Russian and Soviet poet. Her work is considered among some of the greatest in twentieth century Russian literature. She lived through and wrote of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Moscow famine that followed it. In an attempt to save her daughter Irina from starvation, she placed her in a state orphanage in 1919, where she died of hunger. Tsvetaeva left Russia in 1922 and lived with her family in increasing poverty in Paris, Berlin and Prague before returning to Moscow in 1939. Her husband Sergei Efron and her daughter Ariadna Efron (Alya) were arrested on espionage charges in 1941; and her husband was executed. Tsvetaeva committed suicide in 1941. As a lyrical poet, her passion and daring linguistic experimentation mark her as a striking chronicler of her times and the depths of the human condition.
44, Gabriela Mistral
Lucila Godoy Alcayaga (American; 7 April 1889 – 10 January 1957), known by her pseudonym Gabriela Mistral, was a Chilean poet-diplomat, educator and humanist. In 1945 she became the first Latin American author to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature, “for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world”. Some central themes in her poems are nature, betrayal, love, a mother’s love, sorrow and recovery, travel, and Latin American identity as formed from a mixture of Native American and European influences. Her portrait also appears on the 5,000 Chilean peso bank note.
45, Sharon Olds
Sharon Olds (born November 19, 1942) is an American poet. She was born in San Francisco, California, but was brought up in Berkeley, California along with her siblings. Olds has been the recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award, and the first San Francisco Poetry Center Award in 1980. She teaches creative writing at New York University. Her most recent publication is Odes (2016).
46, Taslima Nasrin
Taslima Nasrin (also Taslima Nasreen, born 25 August 1962) is an Bangladeshi-Swedish writer, physician, feminist, secular humanist and human rights activist. She is known for her writing on women’s oppression and criticism of religion, despite forced exile and multiple fatwas calling for her death. Nasrin’s works have been translated into 30 different languages. Some of her books are banned in Bangladesh. She has been blacklisted and banished from the Bengal region (both from Bangladesh and the West Bengal part of India.
47, Meena Kandasamy
Ilavenil Meena Kandasamy is an Indian poet, fiction writer, translator and activist who is based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Most of her works are centered on feminism and the anti-caste Caste Annihilation Movement of the contemporary Indian milieu. Born in 1984 to Tamil parents, both university professors. Named as Illavenil by her parents, she developed an early interest in poetry, and later adopted the name Meena. Meena completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Socio-linguistics from Anna University, Chennai. Meena wrote her first poetry at the age of 17 and also started translating books by Dalit writers and leaders into English at that age.
48, Anaïs Nin
Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell (February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977), known professionally as Anaïs Nin (/ænə.iːs niːn/), was a French-American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer of short stories and erotica. Born to Cuban parents in France, Nin was the daughter of composer Joaquín Nin and Rosa Culmell, a classically trained singer. Nin spent her early years in Spain and Cuba, about sixteen years in Paris (1924–1940), and the remaining half of her life in the United States, where she became an established author.
49, Rosanna Warren
Rosanna Phelps Warren (born July 27, 1953 in Fairfield, Connecticut) is an American poet and scholar. Warren is the daughter of novelist, literary critic and Poet Laureate Robert Penn Warren and writer Eleanor Clark. She graduated from Yale University, where she was a member of Manuscript Society, in 1976, with a degree in painting, and then in 1980 received an M.A. from Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. Until July 2012 she was the Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities and a University Professor at Boston University.
Meera, also known as Meera Bai or Mirabai (1498–1546/1547) was a 16th-century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Krishna. She is a celebrated Bhakti saint, particularly in the North Indian Hindu tradition. Meera was born into a Rajput royal family of Kudki district of Pali, Rajasthan, India. She is mentioned in Bhaktamal, confirming that she was widely known and a cherished figure in the Bhakti movement culture by about 1600 CE. She has been the subject of numerous folk tales and hagiographic legends, which are inconsistent or widely different in details.
51, Stevie Smith
Stevie Smith, born Florence Margaret Smith in Kingston upon Hull (20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971), was an English poet and novelist. She was awarded the Cholmondeley Award for Poets and won the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry. Smith died of a brain tumour on 7 March 1971. Her last collection, Scorpion and other Poems was published posthumously in 1972, and the Collected Poems followed in 1975. Three novels were republished and there was a successful play based on her life, Stevie, written by Hugh Whitemore. It was filmed in 1978 by Robert Enders and starred Glenda Jackson and Mona Washbourne.
52, Rita Dove
Rita Frances Dove (born August 28, 1952) is an American poet and essayist. From 1993 to 1995, she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She is the first African American to have been appointed since the position was created by an act of Congress in 1986 from the previous “consultant in poetry” position (1937–86). Dove also received an appointment as “special consultant in poetry” for the Library of Congress’s bicentennial year from 1999 to 2000. Dove is the second African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, in 1987, and she served as the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004 to 2006.
53, Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy (born March 31, 1936) is an American poet, novelist, and social activist. Her work includes Woman on the Edge of Time; He, She and It, which won the 1993 Arthur C. Clarke Award; and Gone to Soldiers, a New York Times Best Seller and sweeping historical novel set during World War II. In 1977, Piercy became an associate of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP). WIFP is an American nonprofit publishing organization. The organization works to increase communication between women and connect the public with forms of women-based media.
Letitia Elizabeth Landon (14 August 1802 – 15 October 1838) was an English poet and novelist, better known by her initials L.E.L. Among the poets of her own time to recognise and admire Landon were Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who wrote “L.E.L.’s Last Question” in homage; and Christina Rossetti, who published a tribute poem entitled “L.E.L” in her 1866 volume The Prince’s Progress and Other Poems.
55, Judith Viorst
Judith Viorst (née Stahl, February 2, 1931) is an American writer, newspaper journalist, and psychoanalysis researcher. She is known for her humorous observational poetry and for her children’s literature. This includes The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (about the death of a pet) and the Alexander series of short picture books, which includes Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (1972), which has sold over two million copies. Viorst is a 1952 graduate of the Newark College of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey.
56, Anne Bradstreet
Anne Bradstreet (March 20, 1612 – September 16, 1672), née Dudley, was the most prominent of early English poets of North America and first writer in England’s North American colonies to be published. She is the first Puritan figure in American Literature and notable for her large corpus of poetry, as well as personal writings published posthumously. In a portrait painted by her later poems, Bradstreet is described as ‘an educated English woman, a loving wife, devoted mother, Empress Consort of Massachusetts, a questing Puritan and a sensitive poet.’ Bradstreet’s first volume of poetry was The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, published in 1650. It was met with a positive reception in both the Old World and the New World.
57, Elinor Wylie
Elinor Morton Wylie (September 7, 1885 – December 16, 1928) was an American poet and novelist popular in the 1920s and 1930s. “She was famous during her life almost as much for her ethereal beauty and personality as for her melodious, sensuous poetry. Wylie’s “highly polished, articulate, and deeply emotional verse shows the influence of the metaphysical poets,” such as John Donne, George Herbert, and Andrew Marvell. If her poetry is derivative of anyone, though, that would be “of the British Romantic poets, and particularly of Shelley,” whom she admired “to a degree that some critics have seen as abnormal.”
Helen Hunt Jackson (pen name, H.H.; born Helen Maria Fiske; October 15, 1830 – August 12, 1885) was an American poet and writer who became an activist on behalf of improved treatment of Native Americans by the United States government. She described the adverse effects of government actions in her history A Century of Dishonor (1881). Her novel Ramona (1884) dramatized the federal government’s mistreatment of Native Americans in Southern California after the Mexican–American War and attracted considerable attention to her cause. Commercially popular, it was estimated to have been reprinted 300 times and most readers liked its romantic and picturesque qualities rather than its political content. The novel was so popular that it attracted many tourists to Southern California who wanted to see places from the book.
Cecil Frances Alexander (born at 25 Eccles Street, Dublin; April 1818 – 12 October 1895) was an Anglo-Irish hymnwriter and poet. Amongst other works, she wrote “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, “There Is a Green Hill Far Away” and the Christmas carol “Once in Royal David’s City.” By the 1840s she was already known as a hymn writer and her compositions were soon included in Church of Ireland hymnbooks. She also contributed lyric poems, narrative poems, and translations of French poetry to Dublin University Magazine under various pseudonyms.
60, Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller (born February 8, 1924) is a German-American poet. She won the U.S. National Book Award in 1981 and the Pulitzer Prize in 1997. Mueller was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1924 and immigrated to America at the age of 15. Her poems are extremely accessible, yet intricate and layered. While at times whimsical and possessing a sly humor, there is an underlying sadness in much of her work. She graduated from the University of Evansville in 1944 and has taught at the University of Chicago, Elmhurst College in Illinois, and Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.
Felicia Dorothea Hemans, née Felicia Dorothea Browne, (born Sept. 25, 1793, Liverpool—died May 16, 1835, Dublin), English poet who owed the immense popularity of her poems to a talent for treating Romantic themes—nature, the picturesque, childhood innocence, travels abroad, liberty, the heroic—with an easy and engaging fluency. Poems (1808), written when she was between 8 and 13, was the first of a series of 24 volumes of verse; from 1816 to 1834 one or more appeared almost every year.
Ingeborg Bachmann (25 June 1926 – 17 October 1973) was an Austrian poet and author. Bachmann was born in Klagenfurt, in the Austrian state of Carinthia, the daughter of a headmaster. She studied philosophy, psychology, German philology, and law at the universities of Innsbruck, Graz, and Vienna. In 1949, she received her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Vienna with her dissertation titled “The Critical Reception of the Existential Philosophy of Martin Heidegger”; her thesis adviser was Victor Kraft.
63, Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe (May 27, 1819 – October 17, 1910) was an American poet and author, best known for writing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. She was also an advocate for abolitionism and was a social activist, particularly for women’s suffrage. Howe died of pneumonia October 17, 1910, at her Portsmouth home, Oak Glen at the age of 91. She is buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At her memorial service approximately 4,000 individuals sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic” as a sign of respect as it was the custom to sing that song at each of Julia’s speaking engagements.
64, Louise Labé
Louise Labé, (c. 1524, Lyon – 25 April 1566, Parcieux), also identified as La Belle Cordière (The Beautiful Ropemaker), was a feminist French poet of the Renaissance born in Lyon, the daughter of wealthy ropemaker Pierre Charly and his second wife, Etiennette Roybet. The sonnets have been her most famous works following the early modern period, and were translated into German by Rainer Maria Rilke and into Dutch by Pieter Cornelis Boutens. They have been translated into English by Annie Finch and Deborah Lesko Baker (2006), and by Richard Siebuth in a volume published by NYRB (2014).
65, Fanny Howe
Fanny Howe (born October 15, 1940 in Buffalo, New York) is an American poet, novelist, and short story writer. She has written many novels in prose collection. Howe was awarded the 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, presented annually by the Poetry Foundation to a living U.S. poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition. She was a judge for the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize.
66, Kamini Roy
Kamini Roy (12 October 1864 – 27 September 1933) was a leading Bengali poet, social worker and feminist in British India. She was the first woman honours graduate in British India. Born in the village of Basanda, then in Bakergunj district of Bengal Presidency and now in Barisal District of Bangladesh. Her writing is simple and elegant. She published her first collection of verses Alo Chhaya in 1889, and two more books after that but then took a break from writing for several years following her marriage and motherhood.
Emily Pauline Johnson (also known in Mohawk as Tekahionwake –pronounced: dageh-eeon-wageh, literally: ‘double-life’) (10 March 1861 – 7 March 1913), commonly known as E. Pauline Johnson or just Pauline Johnson, was a Canadian writer and performer popular in the late 19th century. Johnson’s poetry was published in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. Johnson was one of a generation of widely read writers who began to define a Canadian literature. Johnson was notable for her poems and performances that celebrated her Indigenous heritage; her father was a hereditary Mohawk chief of mixed ancestry. She also drew from English influences, as her mother was an English immigrant.
68, Akka Mahadevi
Akka Mahadevi (ಅಕ್ಕ ಮಹಾದೇವಿ) (c.1130–1160) was one of the early female poets of the Kannada literature and a prominent person in the Lingayat religion in the 12th century. Akka Mahadevi was born in Udutadi, near Shivamogga in the Indian state of Karnataka around 1130. She is considered by modern scholars to be a prominent figure in the field of female emancipation.
Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (née Sidney; 27 October 1561 – 25 September 1621) was one of the first English women to achieve a major reputation for her poetry and literary patronage. By the age of 39, she was listed with her brother Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare as one of the notable authors of her time in the verse miscellany, Belvidere, by John Bodenham.
70, Emma Lazarus
Emma Lazarus (July 22, 1849 – November 19, 1887) was an American author of poetry, prose, and translations, as well as an activist. She wrote the sonnet The New Colossus in 1883, which includes “lines of world-wide welcome”. Its lines appear inscribed on a bronze plaque on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, installed in 1903, a decade and a half after Lazarus’s death. The last stanza of the sonnet was set to music by Irving Berlin as the song “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor” for the 1949 musical Miss Liberty, which was based on the sculpting of the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World).
Maria Wisława Anna Szymborska (2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012) was a Polish poet, essayist, translator and recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in Prowent, which has since become part of Kórnik, she later resided in Kraków until the end of her life. In Poland, Szymborska’s books have reached sales rivaling prominent prose authors: although she once remarked in a poem, “Some Like Poetry” (“Niektórzy lubią poezję”), that no more than two out of a thousand people care for the art.
72, Jane Taylor
Jane Taylor (23 September 1783 – 13 April 1824) was an English poet and novelist. She wrote the words to the song “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, which is known worldwide, but its authorship generally forgotten. The sisters, Jane and Ann Taylor and their authorship of various works have often been confused, in part because their early works were published together. Ann Taylor’s son, Josiah Gilbert, wrote in her biography, “Two little poems – ‘My Mother,’ and ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little Star’ – are perhaps, more frequently quoted than any; the first, a lyric of life, was by Ann, the second, of nature, by Jane; and they illustrate this difference between the sisters.”
73, Carolyn Forché
Carolyn Forché (born April 28, 1950) is an American poet, editor, professor, translator, and human rights advocate. Forché was born in Detroit, Michigan to Michael Joseph and Louise Nada Blackford Sidlosky. Forché earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Creative Writing at Michigan State University in 1972, and MFA at Bowling Green State University in 1975. She has received many awards for her literary work.
74, Toru Dutt
Toru Dutt (Bengali: তরু দত্ত) (4 March 1856 – 31 August 1877) was a Bengali poet from the Indian subcontinent, who wrote in English and French, in what was then British India. She was born to father Govind Chandra Dutt and mother Kshetramoni of the Rambagan Dutt family. Toru was the youngest child after sister Aru and brother Abju. Romesh Chunder Dutt, writer and Indian civil servant, was their cousin. Their family became Christians in 1862.Her poetry comprises ‘A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields’ consisting of her translations of French poetry into English and ‘Ancient Ballads’ and ‘Legends of Hindustan’ which compiles her translations and adaptations from Sanskrit literature. She had also written the poem ‘A Sea of Foliage’.
75, Charlotte Smith
Charlotte Turner Smith (4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806) was an English Romantic poet and novelist. She initiated a revival of the English sonnet, helped establish the conventions of Gothic fiction, and wrote political novels of sensibility. A successful writer, she published ten novels, three books of poetry, four children’s books, and other assorted works, over the course of her career. She saw herself as a poet first and foremost, poetry at that period being considered the most exalted form of literature. Scholars now credit her with transforming the sonnet into an expression of woeful sentiment.
76, Anne Killigrew
Anne Killigrew (1660–1685) was an English poet, who was also a painter. Born in London, Killigrew is perhaps best known as the subject of a famous elegy by the poet John Dryden entitled To The Pious Memory of the Accomplish’d Young Lady Mrs. Anne Killigrew (1686). She was however a skilful poet in her own right, and her Poems were published posthumously in 1686. Dryden compared her poetic abilities to the famous Greek poet of antiquity, Sappho. Killigrew died of smallpox aged 25.
77, Eavan Boland
Eavan Boland (born 24 September 1944) is an Irish poet, author, and professor. She is currently a professor at Stanford University, where she has taught since 1996. Her work deals with the Irish national identity, and the role of women in Irish history. A number of poems from Boland’s poetry career are studied by Irish students who take the Leaving Certificate. She is a recipient of the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry.
Desanka Maksimović (16 May 1898 – 11 February 1993) was a Serbian poet, writer and translator. Her first works were published in the literary journal Misao in 1920, while she was studying at the University of Belgrade. Within a few years, her poems appeared in the Srpski knjizevni glasnik (Serbian Literary Herald), Belgrade’s most influential literary publication.
79, Delmira Agustini
Delmira Agustini (October 24, 1886 – July 6, 1914), an Uruguayan poet, was a Latin American poet of the early 20th century. Born in Montevideo, the daughter of Italian immigrants, Agustini was a precocious child. In addition to beginning to write poetry when she was 10 years old, she studied French, music and painting.
80, Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser (December 15, 1913 – February 12, 1980) was an American poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism. Kenneth Rexroth said that she was the greatest poet of her “exact generation.” One of her most powerful pieces was a group of poems titled The Book of the Dead (1938), documenting the details of the Hawk’s Nest incident, an industrial disaster in which hundreds of miners died of silicosis.
Mercy Otis Warren (September 14, [September 25, New Style] 1728 – October 19, 1814) was a political writer and propagandist of the American Revolution. During the years before the American Revolution, Warren published poems and plays that attacked royal authority in Massachusetts and urged colonists to resist British infringements on colonial rights and liberties. She was married to James Warren, who was likewise heavily active in the independence movement.
Laetitia Pilkington (born Laetitia van Lewen; c. 1709 – 29 July 1750) was a celebrated Anglo-Irish poet. Her Memoirs are the source of much of what is known of the personalities and habits of Jonathan Swift and others. The Memoirs are virtually the sole source of Laetitia Pilkington’s fame; they included nearly all of her published works. They provide insight into Jonathan Swift, in particular, who is revealed as a reverse hypocrite, always pretending to gruffness but actually quite pious and tender hearted. Personal, physical, and conversational details also emerge about Colley Cibber, Samuel Richardson, Charles Churchill, John Ligonier, Edmund Curll, and the young William Blackstone.
83, Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Ashley Kizer (December 10, 1925 – October 9, 2014) was an American poet of the Pacific Northwest whose works reflect her feminism. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985. According to an article at the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest, “Kizer reach[ed] into mythology in poems like “Semele Recycled”; into politics, into feminism, especially in her series of poems called “Pro Femina”; into science, the natural world, music, and translations and commentaries on Japanese and Chinese literatures”.
84, Laura Riding
Laura Riding Jackson (January 16, 1901 – September 2, 1991) was an American poet, critic, novelist, essayist and short story writer. She was born Laura Reichenthal in New York to a family of Austrian Jewish immigrants, and educated at Cornell University, where she began to write poetry, publishing first (1923–26) under the name Laura Riding Gottschalk. She became associated with the Fugitives through Allen Tate, and they published her poems in The Fugitive magazine. Her first marriage, to historian Louis R. Gottschalk (1899–1975), ended in divorce in 1925, at the end of which year she went to England at the invitation of Robert Graves and his wife Nancy Nicholson.
Forough (Forugh) Farrokhzad (December 29, 1934 – February 13, 1967) was an influential Iranian poet and film director. She was a controversial modernist poet and an iconoclast, writing from a female point of view. Sholeh Wolpé writes, “Farrokhzad is Iran’s most revered female poet. She was a poet of great audacity and extraordinary talent. Her poetry was the poetry of protest—protest through revelation—revelation of the innermost world of women (considered taboo until then), their intimate secrets and desires, their sorrows, longings, aspirations and at times even their articulation through silence. Her poems are still relevant in their advocacy for women’s liberation and independence.”
86, Elfriede Jelinek
Elfriede Jelinek (German; born 20 October 1946) is an Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004 for her “musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that, with extraordinary linguistic zeal, reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power.”
87, Edith Södergran
Edith Irene Södergran (4 April 1892 – 24 June 1923) was a Swedish-speaking Finnish poet. One of the first modernists within Swedish-language literature, her influences came from French Symbolism, German expressionism, and Russian futurism. At the age of 24 she released her first collection of poetry entitled Dikter (“Poems”). Södergran died at the age of 31, having contracted tuberculosis as a teenager. She did not live to experience the worldwide appreciation of her poetry, which has influenced many lyrical poets. Södergran is considered to have been one of the greatest modern Swedish-language poets, and her work continues to influence Swedish-language poetry and musical lyrics.
Sarah Fuller Flower Adams (or Sally Adams) (1805 – 1848) was an English poet and hymnwriter, best known for writing the words of the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee”. In 1841, she published her longest work, Vivia Perpetua, A Dramatic Poem. In it, a young wife who refuses to submit to male control and renounce her Christian beliefs is put to death. She contributed to the Westminster Review, including a critique of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry, and wrote political verses, some for the Anti-Corn Law League. Her work often advocated equal treatment for women and for the working class.
89, Warsan Shire
Warsan Shire (born 1 August 1988) is a British writer, poet, editor and teacher, who was born to Somali parents in Kenya. In 2013 she was awarded the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize, chosen from a shortlist of six candidates out of a total 655 entries. Her words “No one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark”, from the poem “Conversations about Home (at a deportation center)”, have been called “a rallying call for refugees and their advocates”.
90, Petya Dubarova
She was born and lived in the seaside town of Burgas. Dubarova published poems in youth newspapers and magazines such as: Septemvriyche, Rodna Rech, and Mladezh (Youth). Some of her poems became songs, very popular in Bulgaria since the 1980s: Зимна ваканция (Winter holidays), Пролет (Spring), Доброта (Kindness), Лунапарк (Fun-fair), Нощ над града (Night over the city). Dubarova committed suicide via sleeping pills overdose on December 4, 1979 at the age of 17. She left a note that says:
Зад стените на голямата къща (Behind the walls of the big house)
91, Nazik Al-Malaika
Nazik al-Malaika (Arabic: نازك الملائكة; 23 August 1923 – 20 June 2007) was an Iraqi female poet and is considered by many to be one of the most influential contemporary Iraqi female poets. Al-Malaika is famous as the first Arabic poet to use free verse. Some of Al-Malaika’s poems are translated into Nepali by Suman Pokhrel, and are collected along with poems of other poets in an anthology tittled Manpareka Kehi Kavita.
92, Ghada Al-Samman
Ghadah Al-Samman (Arabic: غادة السمّان) is a Syrian writer, journalist and novelist born in Damascus in 1942 to a prominent and conservative Damascene family, she is remotely related to Nizar Qabbani the famous poet. Her father was Ahmed Al-Samman, a president of the Syrian University. She was deeply influenced by him since her mother died at a very young age.
Judith Sargent Murray (May 1, 1751 – June 9, 1820) was an early American advocate for women’s rights, an essay writer, playwright, poet, and letter writer. She was one of the first American proponents of the idea of the equality of the sexes—that women, like men, had the capability of intellectual accomplishment and should be able to achieve economic independence. Among many other influential pieces, her landmark essay “On the Equality of the Sexes” paved the way for new thoughts and ideas proposed by other feminist writers of the century.
94, Denise Duhamel
Denise Duhamel (born 1961 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island) is an American poet. Born and raised in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, poet Denise Duhamel earned a BFA at Emerson College and an MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. She lived in New York City from 1985 until 1999. Duhamel’s honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been included in several volumes of Best American Poetry, and has also been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Bill Moyers’s PBS poetry special Fooling with Words.
95, Carol Ann Duffy
Dame Carol Ann Duffy (born 23 December 1955) is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is a professor of contemporary poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain’s Poet Laureate in May 2009. She is the first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly gay or bisexual poet to hold the position. Her collections include Standing Female Nude (1985), winner of a Scottish Arts Council Award; Selling Manhattan (1987), which won a Somerset Maugham Award; Mean Time (1993), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award; and Rapture (2005), winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize. Her poems address issues such as oppression, gender, and violence in an accessible language that has made them popular in schools.
96, Marilyn Hacker
Marilyn Hacker (born November 27, 1942) is an American poet, translator and critic. She is Professor of English emeritus at the City College of New York. Her books of poetry include Presentation Piece (1974), which won the National Book Award, Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons (1986), and Going Back to the River (1990). In 2009, Hacker won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for King of a Hundred Horsemen by Marie Étienne, which also garnered the first Robert Fagles Translation Prize from the National Poetry Series. In 2010, she received the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. She was shortlisted for the 2013 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for her translation of Tales of a Severed Head by Rachida Madani.
97, Pattiann Rogers
Pattiann Rogers (born 1940) is an American poet, and a recipient of the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry. In 2018, she was awarded a special John Burroughs Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Nature Poetry. She was born in Joplin, Missouri, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1961. She received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Houston in 1981.
98, Jo Shapcott
Jo Shapcott (born 24 March 1953, London) is an English poet, editor and lecturer who has won the National Poetry Competition, the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the Costa Book of the Year Award, a Forward Poetry Prize and the Cholmondeley Award. She lived in Hemel Hempstead and attended Cavendish School in the town prior to studying as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Dublin. Later she studied at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and received a Harkness Fellowship to Harvard.
Natasha Trethewey (born April 26, 1966) is an American poet who was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 2012 and again in 2014. She won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her 2006 collection Native Guard, and she is a former Poet Laureate of Mississippi. She is the Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University and Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University, where she has taught since 2001.
100, Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez (born Wilsonia Benita Driver; September 9, 1934) is an American poet most often associated with the Black Arts Movement. She has authored over a dozen books of poetry, as well as short stories, critical essays, plays, and children’s books. She was a recipient of 1993 Pew Fellowships in the Arts. In 2001, Sanchez was the recipient of the Robert Frost Medal for her poetry (one of the highest honors awarded to a nationally recognized poet) and has been influential to other African-American female poets, including Krista Franklin.
Some Other Famous Female Poets:
Sandra Jean McPherson (born August 2, 1943) is an American poet. Born in San Jose, California, McPherson received her B.A. at San Jose State University, and studied at the University of Washington, with Elizabeth Bishop and David Wagoner. She considers her “literary mothers” to be Elizabeth Bishop, Carolyn Kizer, and Adrienne Rich. She is a Professor Emerita at the University of California at Davis. Having been a featured poet on the poetry circuits of Ohio, Kentucky, and Connecticut.
Nadia Anjuman (December 27, 1980 – November 4, 2005) was a poet from Afghanistan. In 1980, Nadia Anjuman Herawi was born in the city of Herat in northwestern Afghanistan. She was one of six children, raised during one of Aghanistan’s more recent periods of tumult. In September 1995, the Taliban captured Herat and ousted the then-Governor of the Province, Ismail Khan. With the new Taliban government in power, women had their liberties drastically restrained. A gifted student in her tenth year of schooling, Anjuman now faced a future with no hope for education, as the Taliban shut the schools for girls and denied any instruction to her and her peers.
Fleda Brown (born in 1944 in Columbia, Missouri) is an American poet and author. She is also known as Fleda Brown Jackson. Fleda Brown was born in Columbia, Missouri, and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In 1978 she joined the University of Delaware English Department. There she founded the Poets in the Schools Program, which she directed for more than twelve years. She served as poet laureate of Delaware from 2001 to 2007, when she retired from the University of Delaware and moved to Traverse City, Michigan. She currently teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop, a low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Her husband, Jerry Beasley, is also a retired English professor.
Linda Pastan (born May 27, 1932 in New York) is an American poet of Jewish background. From 1991–1995 she was Poet Laureate of Maryland. She is known for writing short poems that address topics like family life, domesticity, motherhood, the female experience, aging, death, loss and the fear of loss, as well as the fragility of life and relationships. Her most recent collections of poetry include Insomnia, Traveling Light, and A Dog Runs Through It.
Julie was born Juliana Alger, in 1927. She wrote many poems and stories, especially in the last few years of her life. Had she been able to stay with us longer, she certainly would have been able to share more of her work with us. She developed breast cancer in the spring of 1992, which metastatized to her bones by the summer of 1994. Juliana Alger passed over Amherst, Massachusetts on December 29, 1994.
- Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill
- Sarah Kay
- Louisa May Alcott
- Erica Jong
- Megan Falley
- Katharine Tynan
- Linda Pastan
- Eve Merriam
- Ntozake Shange
- Jane Austen
- Tishani Doshi
- Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
- Erin Belieu
- Augusta Davies Webster
- Lesbia Harford
- Mary Darby Robinson
- Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Hadara Bar-Nadav
- Jenny Zhang
- Alice Fulton
- Mary Lamb