Libra Poets

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 1 
Oscar Wilde
(One of the Greatest Playwrights of the 'Victorian Era')
Oscar Wilde
18
Birthdate: October 16, 1854
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: November 30, 1900

Widely regarded as one of the most popular writers of all time, Oscar Wilde is best remembered for his plays and epigrams. He was also one of the best-known personalities during his time as he was popular for his conversational skills, flamboyant dressing sense, and biting wit. Imprisoned in 1895 for consensual homosexual acts, Oscar Wilde was pardoned posthumously in 2017.

 2 
T. S. Eliot
(Best Known as a Leader of the Modernist Movement in Poetry)
T. S. Eliot
13
Birthdate: September 26, 1888
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.  
 3 
Shel Silverstein
14
Birthdate: September 25, 1930
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 10, 1999

Shel Silverstein was an American writer, playwright, songwriter, and cartoonist. Renowned for his children's books, songs, and cartoons, Silverstein's works have been translated into over 30 languages. The recipient of many prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards, Shel Silverstein was posthumously inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

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 4 
Samuel Coleridge
9
Birthdate: October 21, 1772
Birthplace: Ottery St Mary, Devon, Great Britain, United Kingdom
Died: July 25, 1834

Samuel Coleridge was an English poet, philosopher, theologian, and literary critic. He is credited with co-founding the Romantic Movement in England along with his friend William Wordsworth. Despite struggling from bouts of depression and anxiety throughout his adult life, Samuel Coleridge had a major influence on American transcendentalism and writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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 5 
E. E. Cummings
8
Birthdate: October 14, 1894
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 3, 1962
 6 
Rumi
(Persian Poet)
Rumi
15
Birthdate: September 30, 1207
Birthplace: Balkh, Afghanistan
Died: December 17, 1273

Rumi was a Persian poet and Sufi mystic whose spiritual legacy has been attracting praises for the past 800 years! Often described as the best-selling and most popular poet in the US, Rumi's poems are widely read today in many countries. His poetry has influenced the literary traditions of many languages, such as Pashto, Urdu, Chagatai, and Ottoman Turkish.

 7 
William Faulkner
(Regarded as One of the Most Significant American Writers of All Time)
William Faulkner
5
Birthdate: September 25, 1897
Birthplace: New Albany, Mississippi, United States
Died: July 6, 1962
Nobel Prize-winning Southern author William Faulkner is remembered for works The Sound and the Fury, A Rose for Emily, and As I Lay Dying. He immortalized Mississippi as the fictional "Yoknapatawpha County" in his works. He also won two Pulitzers, one each for A Fable and The Reivers.
 8 
Virgil
(Ancient Roman Poet of the Augustan Period)
Virgil
10
Birthdate: October 15, 0070
Birthplace: Cisalpine Gaul
Died: September 21, 0019
1st-century B.C. Roman poet Virgil is best remembered for his epic The Aeneid, which was based on Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. He has also written the Latin poems the Eclogues/Bucolics and the Georgics. His Aeneid, considered ancient Rome’s national epic, inspired other influential works, such as Dante’s Divine Comedy.
 9 
Miguel de Cervantes
6
Birthdate: September 29, 1547
Birthplace: Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Died: April 22, 1616

Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish writer best known for his work Don Quixote, which is considered one of the high points of world literature. He is regarded as one of the greatest novelists of all time and the greatest writer to ever write in the Spanish language. His works have influenced other works of art like music and paintings.

 10 
Arthur Rimbaud
(French Poet Known for His Works: ‘The Drunken Boat’, ‘A Season in Hell’ and ‘Illuminations’)
Arthur Rimbaud
7
Birthdate: October 20, 1854
Birthplace: Charleville-Mézières, France
Died: November 10, 1891

French poet Arthur Rimbaud is remembered for his influence on Dadaism, surrealism, and symbolism. Known for works such as Le Soleil Etait Encore Chaud and Voyelles, he later got involved in a relationship with poet Paul Verlaine. He also traveled as a merchant and explorer, before dying of cancer.

 11 
Michael Madsen
(Actor)
Michael Madsen
11
Birthdate: September 25, 1957
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 12 
Talib Kweli
(Poet, Musician, Songwriter, Rapper, Singer)
Talib Kweli
5
Birthdate: October 3, 1975
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
 13 
Sherman Alexie
(Novelist)
Sherman Alexie
4
Birthdate: October 7, 1966
Birthplace: Spokane
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 14 
Alfred Douglas
(British Poet, Journalist and Lover of Irish Poet Oscar Wilde)
Alfred Douglas
7
Birthdate: October 22, 1870
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.

 15 
Amiri Baraka
(Writer)
Amiri Baraka
4
Birthdate: October 7, 1934
Birthplace: Newark
Died: January 9, 2014
 16 
John Reed
(Journalist, Poet)
John Reed
5
Birthdate: October 22, 1887
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: October 17, 1920
 17 
Günter Grass
(German Novelist & Nobel Prize Laureate, Best Known for His 1959 Novel, 'The Tin Drum')
Günter Grass
4
Birthdate: October 16, 1927
Birthplace: Free City of Danzig, Poland
Died: April 13, 2015

Günter Grass was a German novelist, illustrator, graphic artist, poet, playwright, and sculptor. A much revered and decorated writer, Grass was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999. Over the course of his illustrious career, Günter Grass won many other awards, including the Georg Büchner Prize and the Hermann Kesten Prize.

 18 
Angela Marie DiFranco
(Singer)
Angela Marie DiFranco
6
Birthdate: September 23, 1970
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
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 19 
Stephen Gyllenhaal
(Director)
Stephen Gyllenhaal
4
Birthdate: October 4, 1949
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 20 
Lu Xun
(Chinese Writer, Essayist, Poet & Literary Critic)
Lu Xun
5
Birthdate: September 25, 1881
Birthplace: Shaoxing, Zhejiang, China
Died: October 19, 1936

Lu Xun was a Chinese writer, poet, essayist, and literary critic. An important and influential personality of modern Chinese literature, Lu Xun's work influenced Chinese literature and popular culture after the May Fourth Movement. Mao Zedong, a lifelong admirer of Lu's work, declared him the saint of modern China shortly after his death. His works have been translated into English.

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 21 
Wallace Stevens
(Modernist poet)
Wallace Stevens
4
Birthdate: October 2, 1879
Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 2, 1955
 22 
Ayumi Hamasaki
(Singer, Seiyū, Songwriter, Model, Actor, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Lyricist, Poet, Record producer)
Ayumi Hamasaki
7
Birthdate: October 2, 1978
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.

 23 
Miguel de Unamuno
7
Birthdate: September 29, 1864
Birthplace: Bilbao
Died: December 31, 1936

Miguel de Unamuno was a Spanish essayist, poet, playwright, novelist, and philosopher. His most famous novel was Abel Sánchez: The History of a Passion, a modern retelling of the Biblical Cain and Abel story. He was a significant figure in the Spanish literary and intellectual circles and served as rector of the University of Salamanca. 

 24 
Sergei Yesenin
(One of the Most Popular Russian Lyric Poets of the 20th Century)
Sergei Yesenin
5
Birthdate: October 3, 1895
Birthplace: Konstantinovo, Russia
Died: December 28, 1925

Born into a peasant family, Russian lyrical poet Sergei Yesenin was a significant figure of Imaginism. Known as "the last poet of wooden Russia," Yesenin soared to fame with works such as Radunitsa. He later committed suicide in a hotel, having written his last poem in his own blood.

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 25 
Mikhail Lermontov
(Russian Romantic Writer, Poet and Painter)
Mikhail Lermontov
5
Birthdate: October 15, 1814
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: July 27, 1841

One of the most significant Russian romantic authors of the Golden Age of Russian Poetry, Mikhail Lermontov is remembered for his iconic novel A Hero of Our Time. His initial poems, such as Prisoner of the Caucasus, were highly Byronic. His writings laid the foundation for the Russian psychological novel.

 26 
Ivo Andric
(Novelist, Poet & Short Story Writer Who Won the 1961 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Ivo Andric
5
Birthdate: October 9, 1892
Birthplace: Dolac, Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Died: March 13, 1975

Ivo Andric was a Yugoslav short story writer, poet, and novelist. Andric won the 1961 Nobel Prize in Literature after the Nobel Committee chose him over writers like Robert Frost, E. M. Forster, John Steinbeck, and J. R. R. Tolkien. After receiving the award, Andric's works were translated into several languages as they found an international audience.

 27 
Robert Bridges
(Poet)
Robert Bridges
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1844
Birthplace: Walmer, Kent, England
Died: April 21, 1930
 28 
Rupi Kaur
(Canadian Poet, Illustrator, Photographer, and Author)
Rupi Kaur
17
Birthdate: October 4, 1992
Birthplace: Punjab, India

Rupi Kaur is an Indian-born Canadian poet, photographer, illustrator, and author. Born in India, she moved to Canada at an early age. She began performing in 2009 and gained international fame through her Instagram posts. She often explores her South Asian identity and femininity in her work. Her latest poetry collection, Home Body, released in 2020, was a resounding success. 

 29 
Leigh Hunt
(English Essayist, Poet & Critic)
Leigh Hunt
4
Birthdate: October 19, 1784
Birthplace: Southgate, London, England
Died: August 28, 1859

Known for poems such as Abou Ben Adhem, 19th-century English poet, critic, and essayist Leigh Hunt had founded the newspaper The Examiner, with his brother. Apart from critiquing the politics, theater, and art of his time, he also criticized Prince Regent George, an act that put him behind bars briefly.

 30 
Dory Previn
(Singer)
Dory Previn
6
Birthdate: October 22, 1925
Birthplace: Rahway, New Jersey, U.S.
Died: February 14, 2012
 31 
Ntozake Shange
(Playwright)
Ntozake Shange
4
Birthdate: October 18, 1948
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Died: October 27, 2018
 32 
Georges Brassens
(Singer)
Georges Brassens
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1921
Birthplace: Sète, France
Died: October 29, 1981
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 33 
Ivan Bunin
(The First Russian Writer to Receive the Nobel Prize for Literature)
Ivan Bunin
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1870
Birthplace: Voronezh, Russia
Died: November 8, 1953

Ivan Bunin was a Russian writer whose stories and poems are regarded as one of the richest collection of works in the Russian language. In 1933, Ivan Bunin became the first Russian writer to be honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature. Subsequently, he donated 100,000 francs to a charity fund.

 34 
Mark Haddon
(Writer)
Mark Haddon
6
Birthdate: September 26, 1962
Birthplace: Northampton, England, United Kingdom
 35 
Patrick Kavanagh
(Poet)
Patrick Kavanagh
3
Birthdate: October 21, 1904
Birthplace: Inniskeen, Ireland
Died: November 30, 1967

Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh is best remembered for his long poem The Great Hunger and his depictions of harsh rural conditions. His initial experience of working on a farm offered him the setting for his novel Tarry Flynn, which was banned for a while and later performed as a play.

 36 
James Whitcomb Riley
(Author)
James Whitcomb Riley
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1849
Birthplace: Greenfield, Indiana, United States
Died: July 22, 1916
 37 
Terry McMillan
(American author)
Terry McMillan
4
Birthdate: October 18, 1951
Birthplace: Port Huron, Michigan, United States
 38 
Vinicius de Moraes
(Poet, Singer, Composer, Journalist, Diplomat, Reporter, Writer, Jazz musician, Screenwriter, Songwriter)
Vinicius de Moraes
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1913
Birthplace: Gávea
Died: July 9, 1980

Vinicius de Moraes was a Brazilian poet, essayist, playwright, lyricist, musician, singer, and diplomat. His compositions and lyrics played important roles in the introduction and popoularization of bossa nova music. Vinicius de Moraes is best remembered for his collaborations with popular musicians like Antônio Carlos Jobim. His play Orfeu da conceição was adapted into an Oscar-winning film titled Black Orpheus.

 39 
Louis Aragon
(French Poet and Novelist)
Louis Aragon
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1897
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 24, 1982
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar
4
Birthdate: September 23, 1908
Birthplace: Simaria
Died: April 24, 1974

Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was an Indian poet, academic, patriot, and essayist. Regarded as one of the most prominent modern Hindi poets, Dinkar played an important role during the Indian independence movement,; writing poems that sparked nationalism. In 1959, he was honored with the prestigious Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian award. The same year, he also received the Sahitya Akademi Award.

 41 
John Perry Barlow
(Poet)
John Perry Barlow
4
Birthdate: October 3, 1947
Birthplace: Pinedale, Wyoming, USA
Died: February 7, 2018
 42 
W. S. Merwin
(Poet, Writer, Translator)
W. S. Merwin
3
Birthdate: September 30, 1927
Birthplace: New York City
 43 
Marina Tsvetaeva
(Russian Poet Who Lived during the Russian Revolution)
Marina Tsvetaeva
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1892
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: August 31, 1941

Remembered as one of the greatest Russian literary figures of the 20th century, Marina Tsvetaeva was an integral part of Russian symbolism. She faced the Russian Revolution and lost her youngest daughter to the famine that followed. After her husband’s execution under espionage accusations, she committed suicide at age 48.

 44 
Miguel Ãngel Asturias
(Winner of 1967 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Miguel Ãngel Asturias
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1899
Birthplace: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Died: June 9, 1974

Miguel Ãngel Asturias was a Guatemalan poet-diplomat, journalist, playwright, and novelist. He played a significant role in spreading the importance of indigenous cultures. In 1966, he was honored with the International Lenin Peace Prize. In 1967, he became only the second Latin American author to win the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature.

 45 
Víctor Jara
(Chilean Teacher and Theater Director Who Was Tortured and Killed by Dictator Augusto Pinochet’s Men)
Víctor Jara
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1932
Birthplace: San Ignacio, Chile
Died: September 16, 1973

Legendary Chilean folk singer Víctor Jara was eventually gearing up for a career as a priest and later studied theater, eventually switching to music. He pioneered the nueva canción genre of music in the middle of extreme political turmoil. He was tortured and shot dead during dictator Augusto Pinochet’s reign.

 46 
Philipp Mainlander
(Philosopher)
Philipp Mainlander
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1841
Birthplace: Offenbach, Germany
Died: April 1, 1876

Philipp Mainlander was unfortunately born out of marital rape and was later forced by his father to train to be a merchant. However, while working in Italy, he devoted himself to writing. His works include the iconic The Philosophy of Redemption. He eventually committed suicide by hanging.

 47 
Aḥmad Shawqī
(Arabic Poet Laureate, Playwright, and Writer)
Aḥmad Shawqī
4
Birthdate: October 17, 1870
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
Died: October 14, 1932

Aḥmad Shawqī was an Arabic poet laureate who worked at the court of the Khedive. He also wrote plays and prose, including five tragedies. On 17 June 1977, Aḥmad Shawqī's Giza residence was converted into a museum. His work is celebrated even today at a cultural center called the El Sawy Culture Wheel.

 48 
Guido von List
(Poet, Journalist, Novelist)
Guido von List
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1848
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 17, 1919
 49 
Georg Büchner
(German Dramatist and Writer of Prose and Poetry)
Georg Büchner
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1813
Birthplace: Riedstadt, Germany
Died: February 19, 1837

Part of the Young Germany movement, German dramatist and author Georg Büchner was a revolutionary and a master of Expressionist plays. Born to an army doctor, he studied medicine but also simultaneously participated in pamphleteering for social issues. He is remembered for works such as Danton’s Death and Woyzeck.

 50 
François Mauriac
(Novelist)
François Mauriac
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1885
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: September 1, 1970