Famous 21st Century British Poets

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 21st Century British Poets

 1 Donovan

Donovan
8
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Composer, Autobiographer, Writer, Poet, Record producer, Film score composer
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.

 2 Walter de La Mare

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

 3 Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 23, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
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 4 Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen
7
Famous As: Children's author and poet who has written 140 books
Birthdate: May 7, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harrow, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom

 5 Michaela Coel

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

 6 Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr
9
Famous As: Guitarist, Poet, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: October 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manchester, England

 7 Frieda Hughes

Frieda Hughes
7
Famous As: Painter, Poet
Birthdate: April 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
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 8 Simon Armitage

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

 9 Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin Zephaniah
6
Famous As: Actor, Poet, Writer, Singer
Birthdate: April 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Birmingham

 10 John Berger

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

 11 Jeremy Lloyd

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

 12 William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley
5
Famous As: Poet
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.

 13 Genesis P-Orridge

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

 14 David Knopfler

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

 15 Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet
6
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 31, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barking, Essex, England, UK

Daniel Tammet grew up having seizures and was later diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. A rare prodigious savant, he set a record by reciting the value of pi to 22,514 decimal places. He is best known for his memoir Born on a Blue Day and has also launched the language-learning site Optimnem.

 16 Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd
6
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: East Acton, West (London sub region) London, England, United Kingdom

English author and critic Peter Ackroyd is mostly known for his novels that depict the history of London. The Cambridge and Yale alumnus had initially worked at The Spectator. Apart from writing award-winning novels such as Hawksmoor, he has also penned biographies of T.S. Eliot and Dickens, among others.

 17 Charles Salvador

Charles Salvador
15
Famous As: British criminal who has been referred to in the British press as the "most violent prisoner in Britain" and "Britain's most notorious prisoner
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.

 18 Leslie Bricusse

Leslie Bricusse
6
Famous As: Composer, Musician, Playwright, Lyricist, Screenwriter, Poet, Songwriter, Film score composer
Birthdate: January 29, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London

 19 Arlo Parks

Arlo Parks
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Poet
Birthdate: August 9, 2000
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

 20 Mark Haddon

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

 21 Craig Charles

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

 22 Akala

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

 23 Roger McGough

Roger McGough
3
Famous As: Poet, performer, and children's author
Birthdate: November 9, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Litherland, Lancashire, England

 24 Vivian Stanshall

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

 25 John Agard

John Agard
4
Famous As: Playwright, Poet, Children's writer
Birthdate: June 21, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Georgetown, Guyana

 26 Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh
0
Famous As: Television presenter, Horticulturist
Birthdate: May 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ilkley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

 27 Eric Sykes

Eric Sykes
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 4, 1923
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oldham, Lancashire, England
Died: July 4, 2012

English actor-writer Eric Sykes started his career with the radio and gained fame with The Goon Show. He ruled the 1970s with his own show Sykes. He was made an OBE and then promoted to CBE. Due to his partial hearing disability, he would always wear spectacles that contained hearing aids.

 28 Michel Faber

Michel Faber
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 13, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands

Born in the Netherlands, author Michel Faber grew up in Australia. He now lives in Scotland, where he has won countless awards, and mostly writes in English. Initially a nurse, Faber later soared to fame with bestsellers such as The Crimson Petal and the White.

 29 Felix Dennis

Felix Dennis
6
Famous As: Publisher
Birthdate: May 27, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England
Died: June 22, 2014

 30 John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke
12
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salford, Manchester, England

 31 Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 26, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England

English Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, the first laureate to serve a fixed term, is best known for his narrative poetry and works such as The Pleasure Steamers. He has also penned biographies of John Keats and the Lambert family members. He has also been knighted for his achievements.

 32 David Tibet

David Tibet
3
Famous As: Musician, Painter, Poet
Birthdate: March 5, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Batu Gajah

 33 Edward Bond

Edward Bond
3
Famous As: Writer, Screenwriter, Playwright, Poet, Theatre director, Librettist
Birthdate: July 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London

 34 James Fenton

James Fenton
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lincoln, England

 35 Elizabeth Jennings

Elizabeth Jennings
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boston, England
Died: October 26, 2001

 36 Victor Spinetti

Victor Spinetti
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 2, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cwm, Ebbw Vale, Wales
Died: June 18, 2012

Actor, author, and raconteur Victor Spinetti initially gained fame with his appearances in films of The Beatles. He later appeared in many comic roles in films such as The Taming of The Shrew. He was also a Tony Award-winning Broadway performer. He eventually succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

 37 Heathcote Williams

Heathcote Williams
5
Famous As: Actor, Poet, Author, Screenwriter, Writer
Birthdate: November 15, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Helsby

 38 Valerie Eliot

Valerie Eliot
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 17, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leeds, England
Died: November 9, 2012
The second wife of legendary English poet T.S. Eliot, Valerie Eliot had longed to work with the poet since she was a 14-year-old schoolgirl and he was 50. She eventually married him when she was 30 and he was 68. As his literary executor, she released many of his significant posthumous works.

 39 Al Alvarez

Al Alvarez
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 5, 1929
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 23, 2019

Best known for works such as The Savage God, which spoke about suicide, and the psychological thriller Day of Atonement, Al Alvarez was educated at Oxford and later became the youngest Christian Gauss lecturer at Princeton. His poems and other works carried themes of love and loss.

 40 Charles Tomlinson

Charles Tomlinson
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stoke-on-Trent, England
Died: August 22, 2015

 41 Peter Dickinson

Peter Dickinson
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 16, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Livingstone, Zambia
Died: December 16, 2015

 42 Geoffrey Hill

Geoffrey Hill
0
Famous As: Poet, Writer
Birthdate: June 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom
Died: June 30, 2016

 43 Kathleen Raine

Kathleen Raine
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: June 14, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ilford, England
Died: July 6, 2003

 44 D.J. Enright

D.J. Enright
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 11, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England
Died: December 31, 2002

 45 U.A. Fanthorpe

U.A. Fanthorpe
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 22, 1929
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 28, 2009

 46 Wilson Harris

Wilson Harris
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 24, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Amsterdam, Guyana
Died: March 8, 2018

 47 D.M. Thomas

D.M. Thomas
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 27, 1935
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Redruth, England

 48 Anthony Joseph

Anthony Joseph
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: November 12, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 49 Peter Porter

Peter Porter
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 16, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia
Died: April 23, 2010

Peter Porter was a British-based Australian poet. Born in Australia, he had a difficult early life. He later moved to the United Kingdom, where he was able to establish himself in a successful writing career. He was made a Royal Society of Literature Companion of Literature in 2007.  The Peter Porter Poetry Prize is named in his honor. 

 50 Fred D'Aguiar

Fred D'Aguiar
0
Famous As: Known for first collection of poetry, Mama Dot (1985)
Birthdate: February 2, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England