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Thursday, 31 March 2016

7 MODERN POETS YOU SHOULD READ IN 2016



It was #WorldPoetryDay on the 21st March, and if you know me at all, you know that I LOVE me some poetry.

A lot of people think that they hate poetry. They think that it's boring, and outdated, and uninspiring. To those people, I always say the same thing: dude, you're just not reading the right poetry yet. It's one of the most exciting and current forms of literature out there, but unless you studied for an English degree (holla), you might not have come across any contemporary poets in recent years.


I want to help change that. So, here's a list of a few of my favourite poets of 2016 so far. Go check them out!


#1 Clare Pollard


Clare Pollard wrote her first collection, 'The Heavy-Petting Zoo', whilst she was still at school back in 1998. Yeah. Feel bad about your own life yet? I know I do.

If you're not into flowery metaphors and try-hard imagery, this is the woman for you. Her writing is simple, stark and at times, pretty darn uncomfortable, but only because it's so true. Underage drinking, mental health, first house parties, first kisses... No topic is off-limits. And I bloody love her for it.

Twitter: @poetclare






#2 Dizraeli


Bristol-born rapper and spoken-word artist Dizraeli has been making waves in the poetry scene for a few years now. His band, Dizraeli and the Small Gods, ran and toured from 2009 to 2015, and last year he went solo carry on experimenting with poetry, rap and hiphop.

What, you didn't think rap counted as poetry? I have two words for you: Kanye. West.

Watch Dizraeli do his thing here.

Twitter: @mcdizraeli






#3 Rebecca Goss 


I'm going to make a bold claim. I'm going to say that no single poetry collection has ever affected me as much as this one did. The collection forms a heart-breaking narrative that recounts the birth and death of Rebecca's baby girl, just weeks after she was first born. 

The writing is just... it's incredible. If anybody wants to learn how the fewest words can sometimes leave the biggest impact on the reader - this is your lesson in exactly that. It's raw and honest and full of new and surprising images of life, loss, love and pain. She also really plays around with how the poems look on the page, so if you're into that sort of thing, this collection won't let you down.

Twitter: @gosspoems



#4 Andrew McMillan 


Mr. McMillan is probably the most commercially successful on this list, because he won a little award last year called the Forward Prize. This is basically the poetic equivalent of winning 'Best Album' at the BRIT Awards. Like, it's a BIG deal. Growing up gay in 1980s Yorkshire, Andrew said that poetry (and writing in general) allowed him a sense of community:

'Poetry, if it's anything at all, is surely the recording of a history by which our society will be judged in [...] five hundred years' time. That's why its important to bear witness, honestly and directly, to the lives we are living.' (Source: The Independent)

Twitter: @AndrewPoetry



#5 Safia Elhillo


Safia is Sudanese but grew up in Washington, DC. She's performed everywhere from TEDxNewYork to the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway. She talks about race, culture and community in a way that manages to be funny, non-preachy, but still seriously smart at the same time. 

There's an archive of her poetry on her website. You know what to do.


Twitter: @mafiasafia






#6 Sam Riviere

His second collection is called 'Kim Kardashian's Marriage'. I think that's pretty much all I need to say about this one.

No, but seriously, this guy is really cool. This collection is really kind of dream-like, and he makes lots of really interesting comments on celebrity culture, social media, fictional and non-fictional personalities and other issues that have been hot on every millenial's lips for the past few years.

Bloggers: take note. He DOES get a couple of snide remarks about blogging in there. But I think - I'm almost PRETTY sure - that it's all in good fun.   

Twitter: @borispasterlike



#7 Jess Green

Another spoken-word artist, Jess Green's rhymes and rhythms are some of the slickest I've ever heard (and I've been lucky enough to seen her live twice. Boom). She's passionate about discussing politics and education through poetry, a regular performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and she even tours around the country holding poetry writing classes in schools. All in all, a top girl and an even better artist.

Go listen to 'Dear Mr. Gove' on YouTube.You won't regret it.

Twitter: @jessgreenpoet






So, there they are! A small sample of the poets that I've been absolutely loving so far this year. BEing the massive poetry geek that I am, definitely let me know in the comments (or on Twitter) if anybody wants any more recommendations. (Seriously. You'll make my day. I have no life).

Happy Thursday everyone!

Hannah x
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2 comments

  1. Clare Pollard is such an amazing poet, I love her work!

    Eleanorclaudie.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Loved this post - i'd forgotten my love for poetry! You make me want to search for more, I checked out Safia Elhillo and fell in love. Really enjoy reading your blog

    Emma x
    http://emmalowther.blogspot.com

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