Contemporary American Poetry

As the poet J. D. McClatchy notes in his introduction to The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, "for poetry in English, this has been the American century. . . . [American] poetry from World War II until the present has proved diverse, intrepid, spirited, and surprising." American poets in the last half of the 20th century have spanned the spectrum — from the modernists who turned away from traditional verse forms and styles, to the highly experimental poets of the 1960s, to the New Formalists in the 1980s, who returned to metrical verse and rhyme. The following list begins with some anthologies of contemporary American poetry and continues with an alphabetical list of some American poets of the last half of the 20th century. The library has books by all of these poets, which can be found by searching in the catalog using the poet's name as author. If you need help finding works by a specific poet, or finding a particular type of poetry, please ask at the reference desk.


The Best American Poetry (Annual) (811 BES)
Celebrations: A New Anthology of Black American Poetry (811.08 CEL)
El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry (811.5408 COR)
Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms: 85 Leading Contemporary Poets Select and Comment on their Poems (811.5408 ECS)
Every Shut Eye Ain't Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (811.5408 EVE)
The Longman Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (811.5408 LON)
The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry (811.54 MAD)
The New Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (811.5408 NEW)
The Pittsburgh Book of Contemporary American Poetry (811.5408 OCH)
Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (811.54 UNS)
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry (811.508 VIN)

A. R. Ammons
Maya Angelou
John Ashbery* 1976
Imamu Amiri Baraka
John Berryman* 1965

Elizabeth Bishop* 1956
Gwendolyn Brooks* 1950
Charles Bukowski
Hayden Carruth
Lucille Clifton
Carl Dennis* 2002
Mark Doty

Rita Dove* 1987
Stephen Dunn* 2001
Martin Espada

Allen Ginsberg
Nikki Giovanni
Louise Gluck* 1993
Jorie Graham* 1996
Robert Hayden
Langston Hughes
Donald Justice* 1980
Jane Kenyon
Galway Kinnell* 1983
Carolyn Kizer* 1985
Yusef Komunyakaa
* 1994
Maxine Kumin* 1973
Stanley Kunitz* 1959
Philip Levine* 1995
Robert Lowell
* 1974
James Merrill
* 1977
W. S. Merwin* 1971

Marianne Moore* 1952
Lisel Mueller* 1997
Howard Nemerov* 1978

Sharon Olds
Mary Oliver* 1984
Sylvia Plath* 1982
Adrienne Rich
Theodore Roethke* 1954
Gjertrud Schnackenberg
James Schuyler* 1981
Anne Sexton* 1967
Karl Shapiro
Charles Simic* 1990
Gary Snyder* 1975
Wallace Stevens* 1955
Mark Strand* 1999

James Tate* 1992
Henry Taylor* 1986
Mona Van Duyn* 1991
Robert Penn Warren* 1958, 1979
Richard Wilbur* 1957, 1989
William Carlos Williams* 1963
Charles Wright* 1998
James Wright* 1972

*Indicates the poet is a Pulitzer Prize winner, followed by the year of the award.