Although I am writing my senior creative writing capstone thesis in Fiction, I do appreciate poetry. My capstone professor, Judith Baumel, writes and specializes in poetry, so we have read a couple of poems in her class. Knowing that she is a poet and helps students get their work published in the practicum colloquium class for MFA students, I decided to research contemporary poets and what they have written. Please note that I have not read the works of all of these poets. In fact, I have not read most of them, yet I want to check them out.
One. Kimberly Grey: She is an MFA alumn of Adelphi University (2009). Her first poetry book, The Opposite of Light won the 2015 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. She is a creative writing professor at Stanford University.
Two. Ocean Vuong: The Vietnamese poet has written three books-Night Sky with Exit Wounds Burnings, and No. He won the 2016 Whiting Award for his poems and is a recipient of the 2014 Ruth Lilly/Sargent Rosenberg fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.
Three. Rickey Laurentiis: He has written the critically acclaimed poetry collection Boy With Thorn. The collection won the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and the 2016 Levis Reading Prize. He is a professor at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College.
Four. Solmaz Sharif: The Iranian-descent poet has poetry in The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, The New Republic, and other magazines. She is the author of Look which is the finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and the 2017 PEN Open Book Award. She is also the winner of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. She works at Stanford University as a Jones Lecturer.
Five. Claudia Rankine: Her book Citizen: An American Lyric won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry, and other wards. She is also the author of the poetry books Nothing in Nature is Private, The End of the Alphabet, and Plot. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a professor of poetry at Yale University.
Six. Danez Smith: He is the author of the collection [insert] boy, which won the 2015 Lambda Award for Gay Poetry and the 2016 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His previous chapbook black movie won the Button Poetry Prize. He is a two-time finalist for Individual World Poetry Slam and a McKnight Foundation Fellowship Recipient. His poetry book Don’t Call Us Dead will be released in 2017.
Seven. Anna Journey: She is the author of the poetry books If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting and Vulgar Remedies. In 2011, she was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. She teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California. Her most recent poetry collection The Atheist Wore Goat Silk was released this month. Additionally, she has a book of essays called An Arrangement of Skin being released this March.
Eight. Aracelis Girmay: The Cave Canem and National Endowment for the Arts fellow wrote the poetry collections The Black Maria, Kingdom Animalia (winner of the Isabella Gardner Award), and Teeth (winner of the GLCA New Writers Award). She is a professor at Hampshire College.
Nine. Brenda Shaughnessy: The Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission Artist Fellow is the author of the poetry collections So Much Synth, Our Andromeda, Human With Dark Sugar (winner of the James Laughlin Award), and Interior With Sudden Joy. She is an editor for Tin House Magazine and a professor at New York University and other schools.
Ten. Deborah Landau: The Creative Writing Director of New York University is the author of The Uses of the Body, The Last Usable Hour, and Orchidelirium.
Poetry books today are generally not "bestsellers." Poetry does not "sell" as much as it used to in previous centuries. However, I think poetry is starting to become popular again with the internet. This is seen through the popularity of Rupi Kaur and Lang Leav.