As a bayou metrist with a special interest in Russian literature, Jennifer is often compared with Georgian poet A.E. Stallings. This is like Derek Edwards being the second most famous person from Timmins. Without question, Ms. Reeser is the more accessible.
Her lesser works may suffer from clanging rhymes and incongruous voices but pieces like "Compass Rose" transcend what most are able to do in verse.
She has a bright future in front of her.
9. Marc Kelly Smith Slam
lightning stitching the sky" is remarkable, the text of Marc's poems will not win him any awards. Nevertheless, M.K. Smith (1949-Present) invented the slam and remains one of its
This recital with hand gestures and without eye contact may be about as close to narrative or lyric poetry performance as we've seen lately:
8. Catherine Ann Rogers Poets.org
2006, judged by Mark Doty, and 2005, from Judy Kronenfeld.
In "Refusals" we see three things demonstrated:
- why Ms. Rogers is on this list (and why many fine non-versers aren't); and,
- why "Autumn Sky Poetry" is considered one of the two most astounding sources of poetry on earth; and,
- the difference between free verse and non-rhythmic writing. After a mixture of iambic and anapestic strings we see the first section end with these anapests:
Each night | I unrav|el your choice.
Each morn|ing I wake | to your death.
7. Julie Carter Usenet
Without question, Julie Carter is one of the best sonneteers to never win (or be entered to win?) a Nemerov. As you can see from the .pdf version of "pseudophakia" (2006), Julie's command of phrasing and imagery matches that of anyone short of Karen Solie and Dorianne Laux in the Print World...and Julie does it in verse. Her down-to-earth style stresses rhythm over sound.
Our spies tell us Ms. Carter is preparing another collection. If past experience is any guide, it rates to be the most tragically overlooked book of 2015. You read it here first!
6. Rose Kelleher Eratosphere
her work reminded many of the poet who tops this list--as does the pacing in "Neanderthal Bone Flute".
Seventh was the lowest vote that Ms. Kelleher received in the initial voting. Over time, though, a strange prejudice against consistency seeped in. Rose's ability to do everything well, and do it in almost every piece, made her a Ted Williams among those wanting a Babe Ruth. I suppose that home runs give judges something to cite, even if it means burying the fact that Ruth led the league in strikeouts, too.
5. Rhina Polonia Espaillat Eratosphere
As the finale in "Changleling" demonstates, Rhina's mastery of sound is exceeded by only one other living poet.
is you, is all the you there is, my mother,
whose gentler face is gone beyond recall,
and I must love you so, or not at all.
It isn't hard to see how she won the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award twice. It's equally difficult to find fault with the author of these lines from "Find Work":
she spoke so little it was hard to bear
so much composure, such a truce with time
4. Derek Walcott Print
George Elliott Clarke didn't quite make the list. No other page poet came close.
3. Alicia Elsbeth Stallings Eratosphere
Antiblurb" is a masterpiece but what is more stunning is that it is representive of her work is a whole. If you want to make the argument that knowledge of fundamentals adds charm and consistency to an artist's work Ms. Stallings is your model.
At the beginning of her career Alicia had to use initials to resubmit poems that were rejected by editors who knew from her first name that she was female. As you can see, the online community in general and geeks in particular have no time for such discrimination.
2. D.P. Kristalo Poets.org, Gazebo
When one's worst poem begins with "Let us speak of rumors first; the pallid truth can wait till later" and ends with "...it will rain champagne before I tell you that I loved her" the judges' job becomes a nobrainer. One of the best reasons for studying the elements of the craft is to appreciate everything DPK has been able to do with them.
1. Margaret Ann Griffiths Gazebo, Eratosphere, PFFA
the poet they'd most want to see in an anthology five months before he wrote his signature poem. Now suppose "Prufrock" was not a collaboration with the finest prosodist of the era but a solo, unedited first draft. Would anyone argue about who was the finest poet of the 20th century?
The moment Margaret (aka "Maz" or "Grasshopper") Ann Griffiths (1947-05-23 to 2009-07-13) entered a contest--slogan, jingle or poetry--the fight for second place began. If you ask poetry fans who the greatest poet of all time is you will get a variety of answers until someone mentions Shakespeare, whereupon everyone squawks "We assume you meant other than him!" When you ask who the best poet of the 21st century is you must explicitly add "...including Maz."
Needless to say, the vote for Grasshopper as this century's #1 poet was quick and unanimous.
1. 10 Greatest 21st Century Poets - Preamble
2. 10 Greatest 21st Century Poets - Versers
3. 10 Greatest 21st Century Poets - The List
4. 10 Greatest 21st Century Poets - The Geeks
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