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1 Bob Dylan. Nobel Prize in Literature.

2 Ron Padgett. Hired to write three poems for the current film Paterson starring Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani.

3 Peter Balakian. Ozone Journal, about the Armenian genocide, won 2016 Pulitzer in Poetry.

4 Sherman Alexie. BAP 2015 ‘yellow-face controversy’ editor’s memoir drops this June.

5 Eileen Myles. Both her Selected Poems & Inferno: A Poet’s Novel making MSM lists.

6 Claudia Rankine. Citizen: important, iconic, don’t ask if it’s good poetry.

7 Anne Carson. The Canadian’s two latest books: Decreation & Autobiography of Red.

8 Paige Lewis. Her poem “The River Reflects Nothing” best poem published in 2016.

9 William Logan. In an age of poet-minnows he’s the shark-critic.

10 Ben Mazer. “In the alps I read the shipping notice/pertaining to the almond and the lotus”

11 Billy Collins. The poet who best elicits a tiny, sheepish grin.

12 John Ashbery. There is music beneath the best of what this New York School survivor does.

13 Joie Bose. Leads the Bolly-Verse Movement out of Kolkata, India.

14 Mary Oliver. Her latest book, Felicity, is remarkably strong.

15 Daipayan Nair.  “I am a poet./I kill eyes.”

16 Nikky Finny. Her book making MSM notices is Head Off & Split.

17 Sushmita Gupta. [Hers the featured painting] “Oh lovely beam/of moon, will you, too/deny me/soft light and imagined romance?”

18 A.E. Stallings. Formalism’s current star.

19 W.S. Merwin. Once the house boy of Robert Graves.

20 Mary Angela Douglas. “but God turns down the flaring wick/color by color almost/regretfully.”

21 Sharon Olds. Her Pulitzer winning Stag’s Leap is about her busted marriage.

22 Valerie Macon. Briefly N.Carolina Laureate. Pushed out by the Credentialing Complex.

23 George Bilgere. Imperial is his 2014 book.

24 Stephen Dunn. Norton published his Selected in 2009.

25 Marilyn Chin. Prize winning poet named after Marilyn Monroe, according to her famous poem.

26 Kushal Poddar. “The water/circles the land/and the land/my heaven.”

27 Stephen Burt. Harvard critic’s latest essay “Reading Yeats in the Age of Trump.” What will hold?

28 Joe Green. “Leave us alone. Oh, what can we do?/The wild, wild winds go willie woo woo.”

29 Tony Hoagland. Tangled with Rankine over tennis and lost.

30 Cristina Sánchez López. “I listen to you while the birds erase the earth.”

31 Laura Kasischke. Awkward social situations portrayed by this novelist/poet.

32 CAConrad. His latest work is The Book of Frank.

33 Terrance Hayes. National Book Award in 2010, a MacArthur in 2014

34 Robin Coste Lewis. Political cut-and-paste poetry.

35 Stephen Cole. “And blocked out the accidental grace/That comes with complete surprise.”

36 Martín Espada. Writes about union workers.

37 Merryn Juliette “And my thoughts unmoored/now tumbling/Like sand fleas on the ocean floor”

38 Daniel Borzutzky. The Performance of Being Human won the National Book Award in 2016.

39 Donald Hall. His Selected Poems is out.

40 Diane Seuss. Four-Legged Girl a 2016 Pulitzer finalist.

41 Vijay Seshadri. Graywolf published his 2014 Pulitzer winner.

42 Sawako Nakayasu. Translator of Complete Poems of Chika Sagawa.

43 Ann Kestner. Her blog since 2011 is Poetry Breakfast.

44 Rita Dove. Brushed off Vendler and Perloff attacks against her 20th century anthology.

45 Marjorie Perloff. A fan of Charles Bernstein and Frank O’hara.

46 Paul Muldoon. Moy Sand and Gravel won Pulitzer in 2003.

47 Frank Bidart. Winner of the Bollingen. Three time Pulitzer finalist.

48 Frederick Seidel. Compared “Donald darling” Trump to “cow-eyed Hera” in London Review.

49 Alice Notley. The Gertrude Stein of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project.

50 Jorie Graham. She writes of the earth.

51 Maggie Smith. “Good Bones.” Is the false—“for every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird”— poetry?

52 Adrian Matejka. His book The Big Smoke is about the boxer Jack Johnson.

53 Elizabeh Alexander. African American Studies professor at Yale. Read at Obama’s first inauguration.

54 Derek Walcott. Convinced Elizabeth Alexander she was a poet as her mentor at Boston University.

55 Richard Blanco. Read his poem, “One Today,” at Obama’s second inauguration.

56 Louise Glück. A leading serious poet.

57 Kim Addonizio. Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life came out in 2016.

58 Kay Ryan. An Emily Dickinson who gets out, and laughs a little.

59 Lyn Hejinian. An elliptical poet’s elliptical poet.

60 Vanessa Place. Does she still tweet about Gone With The Wind?

61 Susan Howe. Born in Boston. Called Postmodern.

62 Marie Howe. The Kingdom of Ordinary Time is her latest book.

63 Glynn Maxwell. British poetry influencing Americans? Not since the Program Era took over.

64 Robert Pinsky. Uses slant rhyme in his translation of Dante’s terza rima in the Inferno.

65 David Lehman. His Best American Poetry (BAP) since 1988, chugs on.

66 Dan Sociu. Romanian poet of the Miserabilism school.

67 Chumki Sharma. The great Instagram poet.

68 Matthew Zapruder. Has landed at the N.Y. Times with a poetry column.

69 Christopher Ricks. British critic at Boston University. Keeping T.S. Eliot alive.

70 Richard Howard. Pinnacle of eclectic, Francophile, non-controversial, refinement.

71 Dana Gioia. Poet, essayist.  Was Chairman of NEA 2003—2009.

72 Alfred Corn. The poet published a novel in 2014 called Miranda’s Book.

73 Jim Haba. Noticed by Bill Moyers. Founding director of the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.

74 Hessamedin Sheikhi. Young Iranian poet translated by Shohreh (Sherry) Laici

75 Pablo Larrain. Directed 2016 film Neruda.

76 Helen Vendler. Wallace Stevens champion. Helped Jorie Graham.

77 Kenneth Goldsmith. Fame for poetry is impossible.

78 Cate Marvin. Oracle was published by Norton in 2015.

79 Alan Cordle. Still the most important non-poet in poetry.

80 Ron Silliman. Runs a well-known poetry blog. A Bernie man.

81 Natalie Diaz.  Her first poetry collection is When My Brother Was An Aztec.

82 D.A. Powell. Lives in San Francisco. His latest book is Repast.

83 Edward Hirsch. Guest-edited BAP 2016.

84 Dorianne Laux. Will always be remembered for “The Shipfitter’s Wife.”

85 Juan Felipe Herrera. Current Poet Laureate of the United States.

86 Patricia Lockwood. Her poem “Rape Joke” went viral in 2013 thanks to Twitter followers.

87 Kanye West. Because we all know crazy is best.

88 Charles Bernstein. Hates “official verse culture” and PWCs. (Publications with wide circulation.)

89 Don Share. Editor of Poetry.

90 Gail Mazur. Forbidden City is her seventh and latest book.

91 Harold Bloom. Since Emerson, Henry James, and T.S. Eliot are dead, he keeps the flame of Edgar Allan Poe hatred alive.

92 Alan Shapiro.  Life Pig is his latest collection.

93 Dan Chiasson. Reviews poetry for The New Yorker.

94 Robert Hass. “You can do your life’s work in half an hour a day.”

95 Maurice Manning.  One Man’s Dark is a “gorgeous collection” according to the Washington Post.

96 Brian Brodeur. Runs a terrific blog: How A Poem Happens, of contemporary poets.

97 Donald Trump. Tweets-in-a-shit-storm keeping the self-publishing tradition alive.

98 Ben Lerner. Wrote the essay “The Hatred of Poetry.”

99 Vidyan Ravinthiran. Editor at Prac Crit.

100 Derrick Michael Hudson. There’s no fame in poetry.




















  1. January 5, 2017 at 1:25 am

    100 Derrick Michael Hudson. There’s no fame in poetry.

    101 Guy Clark “There ain’t no money in poetry.”

    • January 5, 2017 at 2:25 am

      102 Gary B. Fitzgerald There ain’t no more point in poetry.
      LOL. ROFL. OMG.

      • January 6, 2017 at 4:55 am

        What do these things have in common?

        Cave paintings
        Wagon wheels
        Musket balls
        Model T Fords

        • noochinator said,

          January 6, 2017 at 10:44 am

          We can’t live with them, and can’t live without them? (That’s a genuine question, not a declarative statement with an “uptalk” inflection.)

          Oh OK, I get it, they’re all outmoded/extinct!

  2. noochinator said,

    January 6, 2017 at 11:32 am

    28. Joe Green

    The Maidenform Bra

    My cousin’s husband he had a hard life
    Worked twenty years before she was his wife.
    Worked ten more years but he won’t tell you because
    He worked most of his life making Maidenform bras.

    I think about him. Perhaps in his youth
    He was bold enough to tell anybody the truth.
    But he got tired of the jokes. That’s the way it just was
    When you were a guy making Maidenform bras.

    But once at a party he had too much porter
    And said “Years ago we did special order.”
    And after another and a whisky and soda
    “I was on the special team that did Carol Doda!”

    Then talked of fine fabric and complex underwires.
    “If they say it was easy, then they’re goddamn liars.”
    Then put down his glass and said with some grief.
    “Now there’s so many women who can’t get no relief.

    They gotta make do. There’s no custom fit.
    It’s all about money. No one gives a shit.”
    That’s all he said. He had the thousand yard stare.
    Marx said “Everything solid melts into the air.”

    But you won’t pay attention. The reason’s because
    You think I’m just talking about Maidenform bras.


  3. noochinator said,

    January 6, 2017 at 11:42 am

    103. William Kulik. His newest collection of “prose poems,” a follow-up to his wonderful Nowhere Fast, is ready for publication, plus he is working on a translation of the novel Rogomelec by the late great artist Leonor Fini (1907-1996):


  4. noochinator said,

    January 7, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    28. Joe Green (and his “non-agenda” poetry)

    There is a certain slant of snow
    I can see from my analysts office
    That promises that someone very like
    Theda Bara will soon come into my life.

    The Ballade of Theda Bara

    The next time you slouch
    on your analyst’s couch
    and stare out at the snow,
    Just recall, since its only fall,
    the year’s got a way yet to go.
    And by the time that the Christmas chimes
    ring merrily in the air….Ahhhhh..
    you’ll know that in the Spring, your phone will ring
    and ’twill be Theda Bara!


    Oh, and in the Spring, his phone will ring
    and ’twill be Theda Bara

    Then you’ll cuddle and smile
    as you drift down the Nile
    on a barge that’s built for two.
    As the pyramids pass, you’ll tickle her ass
    while she’s ogling the crew.
    But you won’t mind, for her behind
    is as firm as a sedan chair….ahhhh..
    And you’ll softly sing, “I bless the Spring
    for ’twas then I met Theda Bara.”


    And he’ll softly sing, “I bless the Spring
    for ’twas then I met Theda Bara.”

    When your ship at last lands
    on the dry desert sands
    and the Summer sun is burning,
    your Egyptian tryst will take a strange twist
    and for your home you’ll be yearning.
    And the desert wind from Samarkind
    will blow the sand like snow…ahhhh
    And you’ll recall, it was in the fall,
    when you first you saw Theda Bara.


    And he’ll recall, ’twas in the fall,
    when first he saw Theda Bara.


  5. oldhuang said,

    January 8, 2017 at 8:50 am

    As a Chinese reader, first let me give you a big five for your efforts. Next, I like to talk about Bob Dylan and his stupid fans in the panel of Sweden or Norway. While there are so many chances for a singer to be exposed to the general public, do you and they think it is fair to snatch this chance from a real poet or a writer who has worked so hard and tied his or her life and fame on the Nobel Prize? Do you know that Japanese writer who so despairs after so many hopes raised? And when the panel tried to curry favor from Bob, he did not give a cold damn and rejected the presentation of award. Then why bother?

  6. thomasbrady said,

    January 8, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Every prize is meaningless. Poetry and song belong to the happy human soul living every day. Individual poets and poems are not nearly as important as the poetry—which makes a soul happy. Fame is individual but exists for poetry, which exists for you, not for fame. Fame serves poetry, poetry does not serve fame. Poetry exists for the soul.

    • noochinator said,

      January 9, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Melville’s words to the Sub-Subs are also fitting for poets who give and give without hope of recompense this side of death:

      “Give it up, Sub-Subs! For by how much the more pains ye take to please the world, by so much the more shall ye forever go thankless! Would that I could clear out Hampton Court and the Tuileries for ye! But gulp down your tears and hie aloft to the royal-mast with your hearts; for your friends who have gone before are clearing out the seven-storied heavens, and making refugees of long-pampered Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael, against your coming. Here ye strike but splintered hearts together—there, ye shall strike unsplinterable glasses!”

    • oldhuang said,

      January 10, 2017 at 2:38 am

      As far as I know, Bob Dylan is not a new hand in poetry or song writing and he has got his reputation for a long time. But if as you say, prize is meaningless, then why does he suddenly become a man getting so much attention (and in No. 1 position in this very ranking here)if it is not the Nobel Prize he was given?

      • January 10, 2017 at 3:03 am

        He won a Pulitzer too, and writes better than me or you.

        • January 10, 2017 at 3:21 am

          And, after fifty years of writing, doesn’t he deserve a little recognition?

          • oldhuang said,

            January 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm

            I do not deny his credit and his contribution to changing the world. But he might not have been in No. 1 place if it had not been the Nobel Prize, right? Our dear blogger might have been unduely influenced to some extent. But of course I respect your choice.

            • thomasbrady said,

              January 11, 2017 at 8:23 pm

              Thanks, oldhuang. The list is who is “hot” at the moment, not necessarily who is the “best.” Do I include lesser-knowns who I believe are really good? Yes. But I also have to acknowledge buzz.

      • noochinator said,

        January 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm

        Let’s face it: the Nobel’s stock’s been down e’er since… (you know)—
        Praising Bob has boosted it to high road from the low.

  7. January 8, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Well said, Tom. I doubt that any true poet would “tie his or her life” on a prize, or on fame for that matter.

  8. January 9, 2017 at 1:47 am

    88. Charles Bernstein. Bravo!

  9. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 9, 2017 at 8:33 am


    [to the poet, William Blake to the Pearl Poet
    to Time itself…

    I saw the milk white pearl dissolve
    that shone like gold in the mouth of God
    the hidden Word of the year to come
    the glory of the foreign tongue in translation:
    for Beauty has become foreign here.
    the letter that you wrote to God
    on both sides of the paper.
    the midnight nation tried to sleep.
    without the dream of God.
    we sighed, in rusting armor.
    the seraph sleeved departed.
    old tears have latched onto the winds,
    and it hurts most of all what
    the green glide of the Holy Ghost surmises.
    that we could have lost our only friend
    Jesu, in you.
    the Word beads jeweled in the dark
    the one He pressed into your heart
    the one that sparkles before speaking.
    oh speak me into Light I cried
    that I may trace the bride of language coronated
    through a thousand Maytimes,
    the milk white Pearl instead of sin,
    the new made Heaven, cherubim,
    the haunting of the world
    made sane.
    the solace of the sweeping rains
    that herald exorbitant Spring.
    the page torn out of a child’s notebook
    like an angel’s wing, snow breathed into existence:
    handprint in plaster, and rosied thing,
    the return to singing.

    mary angela douglas 9 january 2017

  10. noochinator said,

    January 31, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    104. Milo Andreas Wagner — his collection Eskimo Papoose finally getting some attention!


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