It can be said that, through each historical period, world literature has produced great poets and writers. Till this day, there are still many newly-known poets, although their influence and contribution are not as great as the poets of previous centuries, they contribute to change poetry of the present world to the new level.
Poetry and literature is an excellent artistic language that the world has been having, they carry messages that inspire and connect within every word. Thus, poetry has undergone few changes over the centuries, and it is the best poets of the 21st century that have contributed so much to this art.
Now that we are transferring between the old and the new generations, classical poetry and literature will remain and live on with us forever. But at the same time we should embrace the new, modern poetry movement, with a strong poetic style and unique creativity. Therefore, the best poets of the 21st century are the ones who are pioneers, heads of modern poetry and literature.
Seamus Heaney, in full Seamus Justin Heaney, (born April 13, 1939, near Castledàwson, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland—died August 30, 2013, Dublin, Ireland), was an Irish poet, playwright and translator. He received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.
2. Fleur Adcock
Fleur Adcock, in full Kareen Fleur Adcock, (born February 10, 1934, Papakura, New Zealand), is a New Zealand poet and editor, of English and Northern Irish ancestry, who has lived much of her life in England.
Wendell Berry, in full Wendell Erdman Berry, (born August 5, 1934, Port Royal, Kentucky, U.S.), is an American novelist, poet, essayist, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. He is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a recipient of The National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012.
Joyce Carol Oates, pseudonyms Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly, (born June 16, 1938, Lockport, New York, U.S.), is an American writer. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published 58 novels, a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction.
Margaret Atwood, in full Margaret Eleanor Atwood, (born November 18, 1939, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor.
6. Vikram Seth
Vikram Seth, (born June 20, 1952, Calcutta [now Kolkata], India), is an Indian novelist and poet. He has written several novels and poetry books. He has received several awards such as Padma Shri, Sahitya Academy Award, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, WH Smith Literary Award and Crossword Book Award.
Sherman Alexie, in full Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr., (born October 7, 1966, Wellpinit, Spokane Indian Reservation, near Spokane, Washington, U.S.), is a Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Native American novelist, short story writer, poet, and filmmaker.
Carol Ann Duffy, in full Dame Carol Ann Duffy, (born December 23, 1955, Glasgow, Scotland), is a British poet and playwright. She is a professor of contemporary poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Poet Laureate in May 2009, resigning in 2019.
Billy Collins, in full William James Collins, (born March 22, 1941, New York, New York, U.S.), is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York (retired, 2016).
10. Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott, in full Derek Alton Walcott, (born January 23, 1930, Castries, Saint Lucia—died March 17, 2017, Cap Estate), was a Saint Lucian poet and playwright. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was the University of Alberta’s first distinguished scholar in residence, where he taught undergraduate and graduate writing courses.
11. Michael Donaghy
Michael Donaghy (May 24, 1954 – September 16, 2004) was a New York City poet and musician, who lived in London from 1985. Donaghy’s collections of poems are Shibboleth (1988); Errata (1990); Dances Learned Last Night: Poems 1975–1995 (2000); Conjure (2000), a Poetry Book Society Choice and Forward Poetry Prize Winner; Safest (2005); and Collected Poems (2009). He is also author of The Shape of the Dance: Essays, Interviews and Digressions (2009) and editor of 101 Poems About Childhood (2005).
12. Simon Armitage
Simon Armitage, in full Simon Robert Armitage, (born May 26, 1963, Huddersfield, Yorkshire [now in Kirklees], England), is an English poet, playwright and novelist who was appointed Poet Laureate on 10 May 2019.
13. Don Paterson
Donald Paterson OBE FRSE FRSL (born 1963) is an accomplished jazz musician as well as a poet which might partially account for the complex harmonies of his work. Born in Dundee, he left school to pursue a career in music, moving to London in 1984.
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