Every poet has her crushes—writers whose work almost always connects. Whose words make you wish you’d written them. For whom you’d stand in line to hear live or pay a workshop fee to learn from. These are a few of mine…
- Billy Collins – The US Poet Laureate who brought us Poetry 180, Billy Collins ranks high on my list of heroes. Can’t tell if that website is really him or just a tribute site.
- Taylor Mali – Fell for him the summer I rented all 6 seasons of Def Poetry Jam. If I can continue my streak of never meeting him, I can preserve in his mind the absence of any memory of me actually drooling on his biceps.
- Tony Hoagland – My most recently acquired vice, and according to the NYTimes, a letterman in the Amiable School of American Poets. If not for all my tethers, I’d move to Texas and enroll as an undergrad just to hear him talk about poetry two nights a week for a semester.
- Dorianne Laux – The first poetry workshop to which I treated myself was with Dorianne and her husband Joseph Millar. Lots of prompt writing and excellent feedback—the ideal mix of gentle and matter-of-fact critique. From there I took to reading their poetry and…wow.
- Rives – Hasn’t updated his website in a while, but if you haven’t heard the poems available there, then they’re all new to you, right?
There are others, of course. Always others. Ted Kooser, Joseph Bathanti, Kim Addonizio, Ferlinghetti, Elton Glaser, Pablo Neruda, Louis Jenkins, Richard Siken, Debra Kaufman, Barbara Hamby, Cathy Smith Bowers, more.
I like the way Camille Paglia writes about poetry. I like how The Writer’s Almanac serves up a variety of poetry daily in my email inbox, one short bit at a time. (There’s also Kooser’s American Life in Poetry email subscription.)
I like what Button Poetry and MotionPoems do with poetry. I like the way some people use Twitter to tease about poetry. I subscribe to the Poetry Off the Shelf podcast. Hell, I even have apps on my phone for discovering poetry.
Neither scholar nor expert, I don’t claim anyone else should like these poets and poetry outlets. Only that I do.
And hey, you might too.