Poetry may be thought of as a forgotten art, and when asked to name famous poets, most would only be able to name Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson and William Wordsworth. However, poetry is a genre of writing which once again is becoming popular, with plenty of modern poets to choose from. Younger generations are now discovering that poetry is not as dry and dusty as they once believed and that today’s poems focus on everyday lives which resonate with everybody.

Carolyn Forche

This award-winning American poet is renowned for her work on political subjects, with an emphasis on the Salvadoran Civil War. Forche’s writing is quite mystical, and as a Roman Catholic, her poems include religious themes and ideas. Her fascinating memoir, What You Have Heard Is True, was published early in 2019.

Gregory Pardlo

Having won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Pardlo can be seen as an influential modern poet. He often leads workshops which are very popular and thought-provoking. His poems reflect on his life as a father and touch upon the subject of racism.

Marie Howe

A previous holder of the Poet Laureate title, Howe writes about current, controversial topics such as AIDS and the personal impact it had on her life when her brother died from the disease. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and literary journals.

Other modern poets worth seeking out include Jane Hirshfield, Eileen Myles and Beth Ann Fennelly. For those interested in poetry, but who have no desire to read works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there is no shortage of material. As a form of creative writing, it is easy to find workshops dedicated to this subject. Poetry as a subject should be encouraged and seen as a pleasurable pastime, rather than something to be endured when at school.