21st Century Poets

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

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 1 Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
11
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: May 28, 2014
Poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was a champion for black feminism and is best remembered for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing. The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and over 50 honorary degrees was also a child sex abuse survivor.

 2 Stephen King

Stephen King
5
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portland, Maine

One of the most popular American authors, Stephen King has sold over 350 million copies of his works. Many of his books have been adapted into television series, miniseries, and films. One of the most decorated authors, King believes in giving back to society as he and his wife are noted philanthropists.

 3 Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 20, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Watertown, New York, United States

Danish-American actor, Viggo Mortensen, is best known for portraying the role of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Some of his other films are A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, Captain Fantastic and Green Book. He is also an author of various books on poetry, photography and painting.

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 4 Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum

Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
4
Famous As: Crown Prince of Dubai
Birthdate: November 14, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Crown Prince of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum is the son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his senior wife, Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum. An alumnus of the London School of Economics, he writes poetry and is a skilled skydiver and a scuba diver.

 5 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Enugu, Nigeria

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer and feminist. She is popular for writing novels, such as Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. She is credited with popularizing African literature among a new generation of readers, especially in the United States. In 2015, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.

 6 Till Lindemann

Till Lindemann
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 4, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany

German singer-songwriter and poet Till Lindemann is best-recognised as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the German heavy-metal band Rammstein and for the musical project Lindemann that he fronted. Roadrunner Records listed him among "50 Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time". He has also published two books of poetry, In stillen Nächten and Messer, and featured in minor roles in movies.

 7 Keren Peles

Keren Peles
8
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 11, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yavne'el, Israel

Keren Peles is an Israeli pianist, singer-songwriter, and poet. Over the course of her songwriting career, Peles has contributed immensely to the success of other popular singers like Shiri Maimon and Miri Mesika by writing the lyrics of some of their hit songs. She has also found success as a singer as many of her albums have been certified gold.  

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 8 Donovan

Donovan
7
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Composer, Autobiographer, Writer, Poet, Record producer, Film score composer
Birthdate: May 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

 9 Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar
5
Famous As: Screenwriter, Politician, Writer, Poet, Lyricist, Songwriter
Birthdate: January 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India

Born into a family of Urdu poets from Gwalior, renowned Indian lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar had initially been a screenwriter, along with Salim Khan, for films such as Sholay and Deewaar. The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan winner has also been a Rajya Sabha MP.

 10 James Avery

James Avery
8
Famous As: Film actor
Birthdate: November 27, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Suffolk, Virginia, U.S.
Died: December 31, 2013

 11 Jewel

Jewel
11
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Payson, Utah, United States

 12 Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 27, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Died: June 11, 2014

 13 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

 14 Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli
4
Famous As: Poet, Musician, Songwriter, Rapper, Singer
Birthdate: October 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

 15 Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kolkata

Vikram Seth is an Indian poet and novelist. He is credited with increasing the readership of the English language in India. A revered and celebrated writer, Vikram Seth has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Sahitya Academy Award, WH Smith Literary Award, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, Crossword Book Award, Padma Shri, Commonwealth Poetry Prize, and Commonwealth Writers Prize.

 16 Michael Madsen

Michael Madsen
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 25, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 17 Soumitra Chatterjee

Soumitra Chatterjee
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Krishnanagar, Bengal Presidency, British India

Soumitra Chatterjee was an Indian film actor, director, writer, playwright, singer, and poet. He often collaborated with prominent director Satyajit Ray, with whom he worked in 14 films. A veteran actor with over 210 film appearances, he was the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award in cinema given by the government of India.  

 18 Chirlane McCray

Chirlane McCray
4
Famous As: Writer, Social Activist
Birthdate: November 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

 19 Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 7, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Spokane

 20 Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr
7
Famous As: Guitarist, Poet, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: October 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manchester, England

 21 Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy
4
Birthdate: December 23, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow

 22 Ashutosh Rana

Ashutosh Rana
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gadarwara, Madhya Pradesh, India

While he initially played Ravana in local Ramleela productions of his native state Madhya Pradesh, Indian actor Ashutosh Rana later soared to fame with the series Swabhimaan. The NSD alumnus later won Filmfare awards for his roles in Dushman and Sangharsh. He is married to actor Renuka Shahane.

 23 Craig Charles

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

 24 Banks

Banks
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Orange County, California, US

 25 Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton
4
Famous As: American author
Birthdate: April 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States

 26 Win Butler

Win Butler
5
Famous As: Songwriter, Singer, Composer, Poet, Guitarist
Birthdate: April 14, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Truckee, California, United States

Win Butler is an American-Canadian multi-instrumentalist, musician, singer, and songwriter. He is credited with co-founding the popular Canadian indie rock band, Arcade Fire. Also a humanitarian, Butler contributed to a charity record named Do They Know It's Hallowe'en as part of a UNICEF benefit project. A multi-talented personality, Win Butler often participates in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

 27 Richard Cabral

Richard Cabral
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Richard Cabral is an American actor, writer, and occasional producer. Cabral is best known for playing Hector Tontz in the anthology crime drama TV series American Crime, for which he received nominations at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards and 19th OFTA Television Awards. He also won an award at the 20th Satellite Awards for his performance in the series.

 28 Noname

Noname
5
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 18, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 29 Carmine Giovinazzo

Carmine Giovinazzo
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Richmond [now Staten Island], New York City, New York, USA

 30 Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami
4
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Photographer, Film producer, Poet, Film editor
Birthdate: June 22, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tehran
Died: July 4, 2016

 31 Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry
4
Birthdate: August 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Henry County

 32 Bernie Casey

Bernie Casey
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 8, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wyco, West Virginia, USA
Died: September 19, 2017

 33 Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen
7
Famous As: Writer, Children's writer, YouTuber, Novelist, Author, Poet
Birthdate: May 7, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harrow, England

 34 Angela Marie DiFranco

Angela Marie DiFranco
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States

 35 Stephen Gyllenhaal

Stephen Gyllenhaal
4
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: October 4, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

 36 Joan Sebastian

Joan Sebastian
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Actor, Poet, Record producer
Birthdate: April 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Guerrero
Died: July 13, 2015

 37 Mahasweta Devi

Mahasweta Devi
4
Famous As: Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist, Educator, Short story writer
Birthdate: January 14, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dhaka
Died: July 28, 2016

Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning Indian author Mahasweta Devi is regarded as a gem of the Bengali literary world. She had also been a left-wing social activist, and her works such as Hajar Churashir Maa and Rudali have either tribals or people from the marginalized communities as their protagonists.

 38 Louise Glück

Louise Glück
15
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 39 Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 23, 1930
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Castries, Saint Lucia

Derek Walcott was a Saint Lucian playwright and poet who was honored with the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was also the recipient of several literary awards like Obie Award, Royal Society of Literature Award, OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and Queen's Medal for Poetry. In 2016, he was made Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Lucia.

 40 Michaela Coel

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

 41 Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje
4
Famous As: Canadian poet
Birthdate: September 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombo

Michael Ondaatje is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian poet, writer, and filmmaker. Born in Sri Lanka, he eventually migrated to Canada. He studied at Bishop's University and embarked on a teaching career. His literary works include poems, novels, and essays. He is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including the Giller Prize and the Booker Prize. 

 42 Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood
18
Famous As: Writer, Environmental Activist
Birthdate: November 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet and novelist. Her works encompass themes, such as religion and myth, climate change, and gender and identity. An award-winning writer, many of Atwood's works have been made into films and television series; her work, The Handmaid's Tale, has had several adaptations. Perhaps, Margaret Atwood's most important contribution is her invention of the LongPen device.

 43 Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz
9
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Everett, Pennsylvania, United States

 44 Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Grayling, Michigan, USA
Died: March 26, 2016

 45 Mylène Farmer

Mylène Farmer
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Actress
Birthdate: September 12, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pierrefonds, Montreal, Canada

French-Canadian singer Mylène Farmer is best known for her hits such as Libertine and Les Mots, and for her collaborative acts with Laurent Boutonnat. Born Mylene Jeanne Gautier, she later changed her name to Mylene Farmer in honor of Hollywood star Frances Farmer, who was her idol.

 46 Rita Mae Brown

Rita Mae Brown
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hanover, Pennsylvania, United States

 47 Betty Aberlin

Betty Aberlin
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City

 48 Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart
9
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 15, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glendale, California, U.S.
Died: December 17, 2010

 49 Ayumi Hamasaki

Ayumi Hamasaki
5
Famous As: Singer, Seiyū, Songwriter, Model, Actor, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Lyricist, Poet, Record producer
Birthdate: October 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fukuoka

Japanese pop icon Ayumi Hamasaki had started a TV career after moving to Tokyo at 14. She later gained fame with her dance hits and ballads. Also known for her dramatic costumes and videos, The Empress of J-pop has been rendered totally deaf in one ear, owing to a ear infection.

 50 Kumar Vishwas

Kumar Vishwas
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 10, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pilkhuwa, Uttar Pradesh, India

Kumar Vishwas is a Hindi poet, politician and lecturer. He was an active member of the anti-corruption movement, Indian Against Corruption, and was also one of the founder members of Aam Aadmi Party. Kumar Vishwas is known for his comments on topical issues relating to India.