Happy National Poetry Month: 15 Black Contemporary Poets To Know [List]

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Happy National Poetry Month! This month celebrates the role that poets have played in our culture for centuries. We curated a list of Black poets reminding us daily why poetry is a sacred art form that will always remain significant.

National Poetry Month was launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996 to remind the public that poets have an integral role to play in our society. Poetry dates back to the earliest shamans, who often chronicled events in picture-stories. A cave painting in Lascaus, France is thought to date from between 15000 and 13000 B.C.

This month has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and—of course—poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.

It’s more than words written with a particular rhythm or structure that ignites a deep passion behind this specific literary form. It is the expression and relatability that allows our minds to become more expansive and the words to flow differently than the pages in a book or magazine. Poetry has no rhyme or reason. It simply exists without creative bounds.

There are several popular Black poets that we always celebrate during this time like Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, and Claude McKay. This year we want to spotlight the contemporary poets who are in need of their flowers today. Poets like Morgan Harper Nichols, Victoria P. Allen, and even Rob Hill, Sr. are the pulse of poetry today. Though some of these poets may follow a traditional way of sharing their art, others may write in the form of two short lines on social media. Their words resonate all the same.

Get familiar with the Black poets making a difference in the world with their words.

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