Skip to main content

5 Poets No One's Heard of but Should

Here are five poets no one's heard of but should according to five other poets.

It's one of my favorite questions to ask during poet interviews, something along the lines of "who is your favorite poet nobody knows but should?" And the reason is simple: I love learning about new-to-me poets no one's heard of but should know, whether they're contemporary or long lost voices of the past.

So I've gone back through a few poet interviews to find a nice list of new poets to discover.

*****

The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

*****

5 Poets No One's Heard of But Should

  1. Catie Rosemurgy. From Amorak Huey: "I don’t know which poets other people know and which ones they don’t. I’ll say Catie Rosemurgy, who is certainly not unknown, but it has been six years since her second collection, The Stranger Manual, came out. I adore that book and return to it often. It teaches me something about voice and persona and narrative and music every time I read it."
  2. Seth Pennington. From Bryan Borland: "My husband, Seth Pennington. Just as I’m working on this interview, he sent me a file of his recent work, and I stepped away to read it. He sees the world and writes it in a way that makes me grateful to be alive and hungry to be more alive. After I read his poetry, everything else is just noise for a moment, and when that falls away, all the colors are just… more beautiful."
  3. Phillip B. Williams. From Christina Stoddard: "This is a little tough, since what constitutes well-known can be pretty subjective. But hands down one of my favorite contemporary poets is Phillip B. Williams. I first met Phillip a few years ago at a summer writers’ conference. We were in a workshop together and I have been a huge superfan of his writing ever since. Phillip’s poems astound me, especially how good their endings are. He has a real gift for that. His first full length collection, Thief in the Interior, comes out in January 2016 from Alice James Books. I’ve pre-ordered it and I’m dying to read it."
  4. Sasha Banks. From Fatima Hirsi: "I’m lucky enough to live near Natty Roots & Rhyme, a local open mic hosted at a Jamaican restaurant. I haven’t seen much of the country, but I find it extremely hard to believe another place exists with as much talent and life hidden behind its walls. Natty Roots is where I became familiar with the poetry of Sasha Banks. Her work speaks of history and all the ways it manifests in the present. Her persona pieces are heavy with the influence of Patricia Smith. Sasha goes deep into language the way an old tree buries its roots in the ground, rises up, and disrupts the person walking who has no choice but to fall. She leaves us all with open mouths, uncomfortable and in awe."
  5. Brock Guthrie. From Megan Volpert: "Brock Guthrie, no relation to Woody. We went to grad school together at LSU. His debut collection, Contemplative Man, is out now from Sibling Rivalry Press. When we would workshop together, I thought most of his comments were kind of dopey but all of his poems made me totally jealous. Envy is actually not an emotion I feel very often toward other writers, but wow, I just wanted to steal everything Brock ever wrote. Brock is still not good at promoting himself, or finding a publisher. I’ve been helping him out on those ugly business fronts, but as a writer, he nails it every time and I’m not going to attempt to encapsulate it for you. Just buy the book. Brock is the type of guy who will go unnoticed for 40 more years, then up and win a Pulitzer on the merit of the work alone. Get in on it while he’s still nobody famous, and later on you can join me in the I-told-you-so fest."

If you have a favorite lesser-known poet, please share in the comments below.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Blackmail

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Blackmail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, one character blackmails another.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

30 Poetry Prompts From 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Get all 30 poetry prompts from the 15th annual November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge here. Actually, 35 prompts if you're counting Two-for-Tuesday prompts!

How to Stalk Publishing Professionals on Social Media in an Appropriate Way

How to Stalk Publishing Professionals on Social Media in an Appropriate Way

Many people are self-professed "stalkers" on social media, whether they're following life events of friends or celebrities. But writers can learn quite a bit on social media by stalking publishing professionals too, and this post covers the appropriate way to do so.

Vérant

Samantha Vérant: On Romance and Recipes

Author Samantha Vérant discusses how her writing process changed while writing her new contemporary romance novel, The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 633

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a warm up poem.

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Every so often writers ask if they should pitch different to agents vs. editors. This post answers that question and provides some extra help on how to successfully pitch both.

Urban Legend

Urban Legend

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, feature an urban legend in your story.

Grose, 12:6

Jessica Grose: On the Unsustainability of Parenting

Opinion writer and author Jessica Grose discusses the complicated subject of modern motherhood in her new nonfiction book, Screaming on the Inside.

Elizabeth Shick: On Research Through Immersion

Elizabeth Shick: On Research Through Immersion

Award-winning novelist Elizabeth Shick discusses the complete rewrite she devoted to her debut novel, The Golden Land.