Famous 20th Century British Poets

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 1 
T. S. Eliot
(Best Known as a Leader of the Modernist Movement in Poetry)

T. S. Eliot
8
Birthdate: September 26, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: January 4, 1965
American-born British poet T. S. Eliot is best remembered for his poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, and Ash Wednesday, and his plays such as Murder in the Cathedral. He won the Nobel Prize for literature and became a prominent figure of Modernist poetry.  

 2 
Ted Hughes
(Poet and Children's Writer)

Ted Hughes
9
Birthdate: August 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mytholmroyd
Died: October 28, 1998
Poet and children’s author Ted Hughes is best remembered for his iconic poems The Hawk in the Rain, Birthday Letters, and Crow. He was married to poet Sylvia Plath, who eventually committed suicide at 30. Most people blamed him for mistreating Plath and indirectly causing her death.   

 3 

W. H. Auden
9
Birthdate: February 21, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: York, England
Died: September 28, 1973

W. H. Auden was an Anglo-American poet. His poetry was noted for its technical achievement and versatility. He wrote poems on love, political and social themes, and cultural and psychological themes. Throughout his career, Auden was both influential and controversial. His personal life also attracted attention as he had sexual relationships with men, which was unusual at the time.

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 4 

D. H. Lawrence
7
Birthdate: September 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Eastwood, England
Died: March 2, 1930

English writer, D. H. Lawrence, was known for exploring sensitive issues, such as sexuality, emotional health,  and instinct. In his works, he often reflected upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. The sexual nature of his writings earned him many enemies. Even though he died at the relatively young age of 44, he left behind a rich literary legacy.

 5 

Philip Larkin
6
Birthdate: August 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Radford, Coventry, United Kingdom
Died: December 2, 1985

 6 
Robert Graves
(Poet & Novelist)

Robert Graves
8
Birthdate: July 24, 1895
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wimbledon, England
Died: December 7, 1985

 7 

A. E. Housman
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1859
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fockbury, England
Died: April 30, 1936
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 8 
J. R. R. Tolkien
(Author of 'The Hobbit' & 'The Lord of the Rings')

J. R. R. Tolkien
19
Birthdate: January 3, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Died: September 2, 1973

Considered one of the greatest authors, JRR Tolkien is popularly called the father of the modern fantasy literature. He is best known for his high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which is set in a conceived world called the Middle-Earth. Many years after his death, Tolkien continues to be one of the best-selling writers.

 9 
A. A. Milne
(Best Known for His Books About the Teddy Bear ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ and Children's Poetry)

A. A. Milne
4
Birthdate: January 18, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 31, 1956

A. A. Milne was an English author best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh. He joined the British Army as a young man and served in both World War I and World War II. In his career as a writer, he wrote several novels, non-fiction pieces, articles, poems, screenplays, and children’s stories.

 10 
Donovan
(Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Composer, Autobiographer, Writer, Poet, Record producer, Film score composer)

Donovan
9
Birthdate: May 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Donovan is a Scottish guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for developing and popularizing a distinctive and eclectic style that blended many genres, such as folk, jazz, pop, calypso, and psychedelic rock. Donovan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

 11 

Edward Thomas
3
Birthdate: March 3, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lambeth, Surrey, England
Died: April 9, 1917

Educated at Oxford, poet Edward Thomas spent a considerable time working rather reluctantly as a journalist and penning nature studies and critiques of 19th-century authors. An encounter with Robert Frost inspired him to write poems. He was killed in action in Arras, France, during World War I.

 12 
Gilbert K. Chesterton
(One of the Greatest Writers of the 20th Century Best Known as the 'Prince of Paradox')

Gilbert K. Chesterton
4
Birthdate: May 29, 1874
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Died: June 14, 1936

Gilbert K. Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, and art critic. A prolific writer, he composed around 80 books, hundreds of poems, around 200 short stories, and 4,000 essays. Often referred to as the "prince of paradox", he had as many detractors as he had admirers. He is considered a successor to Victorian authors like Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin.

 13 

Walter de La Mare
5
Birthdate: April 25, 1873
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Charlton, London Charlton, Kent, England, UK
Died: June 22, 1956

 14 

Carol Ann Duffy
5
Birthdate: December 23, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

 15 
Michael Rosen
(Children's author and poet who has written 140 books)

Michael Rosen
7
Birthdate: May 7, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harrow, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom

 16 
C. Day Lewis
(British poet and Poet Laureate from 1968 until his death in 1972.)

C. Day Lewis
4
Birthdate: April 27, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ballintubber, Ireland
Died: May 22, 1972

C. Day-Lewis was an Anglo-Irish poet who also wrote many mystery stories. From 1968 to 1972, he served as the Poet Laureate. He also contributed as a publications editor during World War II, working for the Ministry of Information.

 17 
Angela Carter
(Author of 'The Bloody Chamber' and 'Nights at the Circus')

Angela Carter
4
Birthdate: May 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Eastbourne, England
Died: February 16, 1992

 18 
Michaela Coel
(Actress)

Michaela Coel
11
Birthdate: October 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

 19 
Johnny Marr
(Guitarist, Poet, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer)

Johnny Marr
9
Birthdate: October 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manchester, England

 20 
Dorothy L. Sayers
(English crime writer and poet.)

Dorothy L. Sayers
6
Birthdate: June 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: December 17, 1957

 21 
Frieda Hughes
(Painter, Poet)

Frieda Hughes
8
Birthdate: April 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England

 22 
John Berger
(Novelist)

John Berger
6
Birthdate: November 5, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 2, 2017

 23 
Kingsley Amis
(Novelist)

Kingsley Amis
6
Birthdate: April 16, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clapham, London, England
Died: October 22, 1995

 24 

John Betjeman
4
Birthdate: August 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 19, 1984

 25 
Benjamin Zephaniah
(Actor, Poet, Writer, Singer)

Benjamin Zephaniah
6
Birthdate: April 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Birmingham

William Ernest Henley
5
Birthdate: August 23, 1849
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gloucester, England
Died: July 11, 1903

Best known for his short poem Invictus, William Ernest Henley was a Victorian-era British poet and author. A disease he contracted in childhood caused one of his legs to be amputated. It is believed, he was the inspiration behind the crippled character Long John Silver in RL Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

 27 
Jeremy Lloyd
(Writer)

Jeremy Lloyd
6
Birthdate: July 22, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Danbury, England
Died: December 23, 2014

 28 
Genesis P-Orridge
(Singer-songwriter)

Genesis P-Orridge
12
Birthdate: February 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manchester, England

 29 

Robert Bridges
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Walmer, Kent, England
Died: April 21, 1930

 30 

David Knopfler
7
Birthdate: December 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK

 31 
Diana Wynne Jones
(Known for Writing Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Novels for Children and Young Adults)

Diana Wynne Jones
4
Birthdate: August 16, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 26, 2011

Diana Wynne Jones was an English writer who is known for  fantasy and speculative fiction novels for children and young adults.. She began writing stories for her siblings at the age of thirteen. However, she was actually introduced to children's literature while reading out to her sons, starting to write on her own once her children started going to school, authoring more than forty books in her lifetime.

 32 

John Masefield
6
Birthdate: June 1, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ledbury, United Kingdom
Died: May 12, 1967

 33 

Simon Armitage
4
Birthdate: May 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

 34 
Charles Salvador
(British criminal who has been referred to in the British press as the "most violent prisoner in Britain" and "Britain's most notorious prisoner)

Charles Salvador
15
Birthdate: December 6, 1952
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Former bare knuckle boxer Charles Salvador, also known as Charles Bronson, is also a highly infamous criminal, who was once convicted for an armed robbery. Known for his violent temper, he later penned several books, one of them on fitness. He is also a talented painter and poet.

 35 
John Webster
(Playwright, Poet, Writer, Poet lawyer)

John Webster
4
Birthdate: 1578 AD
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: 1634 AD

 36 
Leslie Bricusse
(Composer, Musician, Playwright, Lyricist, Screenwriter, Poet, Songwriter, Film score composer)

Leslie Bricusse
6
Birthdate: January 29, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London

 37 
Laurie Lee
(Screenwriter, Poet, Autobiographer, Journalist)

Laurie Lee
6
Birthdate: June 26, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stroud
Died: May 13, 1997

 38 
Mark Haddon
(Writer)

Mark Haddon
6
Birthdate: September 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Northampton, England, United Kingdom

 39 

Radclyffe Hall
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Died: October 7, 1943

 40 
Ford Madox Ford
(Novelist)

Ford Madox Ford
9
Birthdate: December 17, 1873
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Merton, Surrey, England
Died: June 26, 1939

Best remembered for his novel The Good Soldier, author Ford Madox Ford was the grandson of Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown. He had been part of World War I. He spent his final years in France and the US, mostly authoring criticism. The tetralogy Parade's End remains one of his best-known works.

 41 

Craig Charles
7
Birthdate: July 11, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, UK

 42 
Rumer Godden
(Author)

Rumer Godden
5
Birthdate: December 10, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eastbourne, Sussex, England
Died: November 8, 1998

 43 

Alfred Douglas
6
Birthdate: October 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Powick, Worcestershire, England
Died: March 20, 1945

Alfred Douglas was an English journalist and poet best remembered as one of the lovers of famous Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Douglas played an important role in Wilde's imprisonment for homosexuality. Alfred Douglas' father John Sholto Douglas abhorred his son's relationship with the Irish poet and publicly accused the latter of homosexuality, which was illegal at that time.

 44 
Mervyn Peake
(Writer)

Mervyn Peake
3
Birthdate: July 9, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kuling, China
Died: November 17, 1968

 45 

Vita Sackville-West
6
Birthdate: March 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Knole, Kent, England, UK
Died: June 2, 1962

 46 
Jake Thackray
(Singer-songwriter, Poet)

Jake Thackray
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leeds
Died: December 24, 2002

 47 
Akala
(Rapper)

Akala
6
Birthdate: December 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kentish Town, London, England

 48 

Lionel Johnson
3
Birthdate: March 15, 1867
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Broadstairs, England
Died: October 4, 1902

Poet and critic Lionel Johnson was part of the 1890s’ tragic generation, with themes of decadence prevailing in his works. Best known for his study on Thomas Hardy, he was a closeted homosexual and was plagued by alcoholism. It is believed he died after falling and suffering a skull fracture.

 49 
Roger McGough
(Poet, performer, and children's author)

Roger McGough
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Litherland, Lancashire, England

 50 

Vivian Stanshall
6
Birthdate: March 21, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: March 5, 1995