Who are some famous poets that are still alive?


Quick Answer

Famous living poets include John Ashbery, Anne Carson and Kenneth Goldsmith, as of 2015. These three modern poets are known for their innovative works, and each has received significant critical accolades.

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Full Answer

John Ashbery is commonly recognized as one of the most talented and influential poets of the 20th century. Ashbery entered the poetry scene in 1956, when his first collection of poems, “Some Trees,” won the Yale Younger Poets prize, judged by W.H. Auden. His most celebrated work came during the 1960s and 1970s, including “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,” a landmark work of postmodern poetry that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Canadian poet and translator Anne Carson is known for boundary-pushing works that meld elements of poetry, prose and essay. Educated in the classics, Carson’s most famous works, including the prose poems “Autobiography of Red” and “Red Doc,” reframe Greek myths in a modern context, using ancient tales to explore sexual desire and longing. Carson has also published acclaimed translations of classical poets and playwrights, including Euripides and Sappho.

Conceptual poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s fame rests on his experimental “uncreative writing,” which confronts the idea of what constitutes a poem. Goldsmith’s highly unconventional works include “Traffic,” a transcription of radio traffic reports, and “Weather,” a transcription of weather forecasts. A professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Goldsmith made headlines in 2014 when he announced a new course entitled “Wasting Time on the Internet.”

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