American Female 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 American Female Poets

 1 

Maya Angelou
25
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 
Sylvia Plath
(Famous for Her Books 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel')

Sylvia Plath
25
Birthdate: October 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 11, 1963

Sylvia Plath was an American short-story writer, novelist, and poet. Plath is credited with popularizing confessional poetry and won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Sylvia Plath achieved popularity and critical acclaim despite suffering from clinical depression for the most part of her adult life. Her story inspired the 2003 film Sylvia in which she was portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow.

 3 

Emily Dickinson
19
Birthdate: December 10, 1830
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amherst, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 15, 1886
Victorian-era poet Emily Dickinson apparently wrote around 1800 poems, mostly revolving around themes such as death and immortality. However, she was a recluse, dressed up in white, and mostly interacted with people through correspondence. Her poems were mostly without titles and had short lines, slant rhyme, and unconventional punctuation.

 4 
Alice Walker
(The First African-American Woman to Win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

Alice Walker
5
Birthdate: February 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Eatonton, Georgia, United States
Author Alice Walker is best known for her National Book Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. She is credited with coining the term womanist, to mean feminist of color. Her marriage with Melvyn Roseman Leventhal was the first official interracial marriage in the state of Mississippi.

 5 

Dorothy Parker
6
Birthdate: August 22, 1893
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Long Branch, New Jersey, United States
Died: June 7, 1967

Poet and author Dorothy Parker rose to fame with her published works in The New Yorker. She later formed the Algonquin Round Table. She also wrote for Hollywood films such as A Star Is Born and earned two Academy Award nominations. However, her association with left-wing politics got her blacklisted.

Edna St. Vincent Millay
5
Birthdate: February 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rockland, Maine, United States
Died: October 19, 1950

 7 

Phillis Wheatley
6
Birthdate: May 8, 1753
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: West Africa
Died: December 5, 1784
You May Like

 8 
Chirlane McCray
(Writer, Social Activist)

Chirlane McCray
5
Birthdate: November 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

 9 
Jewel
(Singer-Songwriter)

Jewel
14
Birthdate: May 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Payson, Utah, United States

 10 
Mary Oliver
(Poet, Writer)

Mary Oliver
4
Birthdate: September 10, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Maple Heights

 11 
Sue Grafton
(American author)

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

 12 

Anne Sexton
5
Birthdate: November 9, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 4, 1974

 13 

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

 14 

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

 15 
Adrienne Rich
(American poet)

Adrienne Rich
4
Birthdate: May 16, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: March 27, 2012

 16 

Elizabeth Bishop
4
Birthdate: February 8, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 6, 1979

 17 
Banks
(Singer)

Banks
7
Birthdate: June 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Orange County, California, US

 18 

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

 19 
Betty Aberlin
(Actress)

Betty Aberlin
4
Birthdate: December 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 20 
Carson McCullers
(American novelist)

Carson McCullers
4
Birthdate: February 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, USA
Died: September 29, 1967

 21 

Joyce Carol Oates
9
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States

 22 
Julia Cameron
(Screenwriter, Film director, Novelist, Poet)

Julia Cameron
4
Birthdate: March 4, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Libertyville

 23 
Emma Lazarus
(Poet, Writer, Journalist)

Emma Lazarus
4
Birthdate: July 22, 1849
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 19, 1887

 24 

Fanny Crosby
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1820
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brewster, New York, United States
Died: February 12, 1915

 25 
Noname
(Rapper)

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

 26 

Gwendolyn Brooks
4
Birthdate: June 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Topeka, Kansas
Died: December 3, 2000

 27 
Mary Karr
(Poet)

Mary Karr
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: East Texas

 28 

Madeleine L'Engle
4
Birthdate: November 29, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York,United States
Died: September 6, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle soared to fame with her Newbery Medal-winning bestselling young adult novel A Wrinkle in Time, which was made into a Disney film later. Born to a writer father and a pianist mother, L’Engle had penned her first story at age 5 and had also tried her luck in theater.

 29 
Sara Teasdale
(Poet, Writer)

Sara Teasdale
3
Birthdate: August 8, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Louis
Died: January 29, 1933

 30 
Margaret Truman
(actor, novelist, writer, biographer)

Margaret Truman
4
Birthdate: February 17, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Independence
Died: January 29, 2008

 31 
Amber Tamblyn
(Actress)

Amber Tamblyn
15
Birthdate: May 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

 32 
Nikki Giovanni
(Poet, Writer)

Nikki Giovanni
9
Birthdate: June 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Knoxville

 33 
Barbara Kingsolver
(Novelist, Poet, Essayist)

Barbara Kingsolver
5
Birthdate: April 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Annapolis, Maryland, United States

 34 

Louise Erdrich
4
Birthdate: June 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Little Falls, Minnesota, US

 35 
Emilie Autumn
(Singer, Poet, Violinist, Pianist)

Emilie Autumn
4
Birthdate: September 22, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 36 
Ruth Benedict
(Anthropologist, Folklorist, University teacher, Poet, Sociologist, Biographer)

Ruth Benedict
4
Birthdate: June 5, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: September 17, 1948

Ruth Benedict was an American folklorist and anthropologist. Benedict, who played an important role in the American Folklore Society, also served as the American Anthropological Association's president; the association gives away an annual prize named after Ruth Benedict. In 2005, she was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 37 
Dory Previn
(Singer)

Dory Previn
4
Birthdate: October 22, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rahway, New Jersey, U.S.
Died: February 14, 2012

 38 
Terry McMillan
(American author)

Terry McMillan
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Port Huron, Michigan, United States

 39 
Erica Jong
(Novelist)

Erica Jong
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.

 40 
Ntozake Shange
(Playwright)

Ntozake Shange
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Died: October 27, 2018

 41 

Natalie Clifford Barney
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1876
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: February 2, 1972

 42 
Julia Ward Howe
(Known for Writing the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’)

Julia Ward Howe
3
Birthdate: May 27, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: October 17, 1910

 43 
Katharine Lee Bates
(poet, writer, university teacher, songwriter)

Katharine Lee Bates
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1859
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Falmouth
Died: September 28, 1929

 44 

Adah Isaacs Menken
3
Birthdate: June 15, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: August 10, 1868

 45 
Exene Cervenka
(Punk and Folk Singer & Member of the California Punk Rock Band 'X')

Exene Cervenka
4
Birthdate: February 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Exene Cervenka soared to fame as a singer of the punk rock band X. She has also held exhibitions for her mixed media art, published books, and released a spoken word album. She has also expressed her views as a conspiracy theorist named Christine Notmyrealname, on social media.

 46 
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(Poet and Mystic Rosicrucian)

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
3
Birthdate: November 5, 1850
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Janesville, Wisconsin, United States
Died: October 30, 1919

 47 

Hilda Doolittle
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 27, 1961

 48 
Joy Harjo
(Poet)

Joy Harjo
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

 49 

Eileen Myles
3
Birthdate: 1949 AD
Birthplace: Cambridge

 50 
Helen Gurley Brown
(American author)

Helen Gurley Brown
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Green Forest, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 13, 2012