Submit a Poem
Get Your Premium Membership
spacer


Beat Poets

Beat Poets and their poems. A list of the top 100 most popular and best famous Beat poets. Here are the best and most popular famous Beat poets in history (with their best poetry).

Beat poets are a group of American poets - including Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Kenneth Rexroth - who were disaffected by contemporary society. The word 'beat' comes from 'beat' as in music, 'beat' as in defeated and 'beat' as in to beatify or make blessed. Beat poetry had a big impact upon the lyrics of singers such as Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Tom Waits.

Rank Beat Poets
1 Allen Ginsberg
Ginsberg , Allen

 | 

An American Beat poet born in Newark, New Jersey.. American poet; one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation

2 Peter Orlovsky
Orlovsky , Peter

 | 

An American poet best known for being the lover of Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg.. American poet and actor; lifelong partner of Allen Ginsberg

3 Gregory Corso
Corso , Gregory

 | 

An American poet, the fourth member of the canon of Beat Generation writers.. American Beat poet "Gasoline" "Bomb"

4 Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Ferlinghetti , Lawrence

 | 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. Author of poetry, translations, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and film narration, he is best known for A Coney Island of the Mind (New York: New Directions, 1958), a collection of poems that has been translated into nine languages, with sales of over 1 million copies.. American poet painter liberal activist

5 Forrest Hamer
Hamer , Forrest

 | 

Forrest Hamer (born 1956) is an American poet, psychologist, and psychoanalyst. He is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Rift (Four Way Books, 2007). His first collection, Call & Response, (Alice James Books ) won the Beatrice Hawley Award, and his second, Middle Ear (Roundhouse Press), received the Northern California Book Award. He has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the California Arts Council, and he has taught at the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops.

6 Bob Kaufman
Kaufman , Bob

 | 

. American Beat poet and surrealist; coined the term "beatnik"

7 Jack Kerouac
Kerouac , Jack

 | 

. American novelist and poet

8 Gary Snyder
Snyder , Gary

 | 

. American poet essayist lecturer and environmental activist; 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

9 Diane Wakoski
Wakoski , Diane

 | 

. American poet; associated with the deep image confessional and Beat poets

10 Anne Waldman
Waldman , Anne

 | 

Anne Waldman (born April 2, 1945) is an American poet. Since the 1960s, Waldman has been an active member of the Outrider experimental poetry community as a writer, performer, collaborator, professor, editor, scholar, and cultural/political activist. She has also been connected to the Beat poets.

11 Lew Welch
Welch , Lew

 | 

Lewis Barrett "Lew" Welch, Jr. (August 16, 1926 – May 1971) was an American poet associated with the Beat generation of poets, artists, and iconoclasts .

12 Helen Adam
Adam , Helen

 | 

Helen Adam (December 2, 1909 in Glasgow, Scotland – September 19, 1993 in New York City ) was a Scottish poet, collagist and photographer who was an active participant in The San Francisco Renaissance, a literary movement contemporaneous to the Beat Generation that occurred in San Francisco during the 1950s and 1960s. Though often associated with the Beat poets, she would more accurately be considered one of the predecessors of the Beat Generation.

13 Jan Beatty
Beatty , Jan

 | 

Jan Beatty, American poet

14 Sinclair Beiles
Beiles , Sinclair

 | 

Sinclair Beiles (b. Kampala, Uganda, 1930 - 2000, Johannesburg ) was a South African beat poet and editor for Maurice Girodias at the Olympia Press in Paris. He developed along with William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin the cut-up technique of writing poetry and literature.

15 William S Burroughs
Burroughs , William S

 | 

William Seward Burroughs II (/ ' b r o z / ; also known by his pen name William Lee ; (1914-02-05 ) February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997 (1997-08-02 ) ) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century". His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

16 Ivor Cutler
Cutler , Ivor

 | 

Ivor Cutler (15 January 1923 – 3 March 2006) was a Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist. He became known for his regular performances on BBC radio, and in particular his numerous sessions recorded for John Peel's influential radio programme, and later for Andy Kershaw's programme. He appeared in the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film in 1967 and on Neil Innes' television programmes. Cutler also wrote books for children and adults and was a teacher at A. S. Neill's Summerhill School and for 30 years in inner-city schools in London. He told Andy Kershaw on his radio show that he also gave private poetry lessons to individuals.. Scottish poet musician songwriter and humorist

17 Mathilda Valeria Beatrix d'Orozco
d'Orozco , Mathilda Valeria Beatrix

 | 

Mathilda Valeria Beatrix d'Orozco also by marriage known as Cenami, Montgomery-Cederhjelm and Gyllenhaal, (14 June 1796 – 19 October 1863) was a Swedish (originally Spanish-Italian) noble and salonist, composer, poet, writer, singer, amateur actress and harpsichordists. In Sweden, she is perhaps most known under the name Mathilda Montgomery-Cederhjelm.

18 Kirby Doyle
Doyle , Kirby

 | 

Kirby Doyle (November 27, 1932 – April 5, 2003), born Stanton Doyle, was an American poet. He was featured in the New American Poetry anthology, with the so-called "third generation" of American modernist poets. He was one of the San Francisco Renaissance poets who laid the groundwork for Beat poetry in San Francisco. Doyle also wrote novels.

19 Royston Ellis
Ellis , Royston

 | 

Royston Ellis (born 10 February 1941, Pinner, England) is a British writer heavily influenced by the American Beat Generation.. English poet inspired by Beat Generation

20 Adrian Henri
Henri , Adrian

 | 

Adrian Henri (10 April 1932 – 20 December 2000) was a British poet and painter best remembered as the founder of poetry-rock group The Liverpool Scene and as one of three poets in the best-selling anthology The Mersey Sound, along with Brian Patten and Roger McGough. The trio of Liverpool poets came to prominence in that city's Merseybeat zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s. He was described by Edward Lucie-Smith in British Poetry since 1945 as the "theoretician" of the three. His characterisation of popular culture in verse helped to widen the audience for poetry among 1960s British youth. He was influenced by the French Symbolist school of poetry and surrealist art.. British poet and painter

21 Laura Kasischke
Kasischke , Laura

 | 

Laura Kasischke (born 1961) is an American fiction writer and American poet with poetry awards and multiple well reviewed works of fiction. Her work has received the Juniper Prize, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Pushcart Prize, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award for Emerging Writers, and the Beatrice Hawley Award. She is the recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as several Pushcart Prizes.. American poet fiction writer

22 Takeshi Kitano
Kitano , Takeshi

 | 

Takeshi Kitano ( , Kitano Takeshi , born 18 January 1947) is a Japanese film director, comedian, singer, actor, film editor, presenter, screenwriter, author, poet, painter, and one-time video game designer who has received critical acclaim, both in his native Japan and abroad, for his idiosyncratic cinematic work. Japanese film critic Nagaharu Yodogawa once dubbed him "the true successor" to the influential filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. With the exception of his works as a film director, he is known almost exclusively by the name Beat Takeshi (, Bito Takeshi ). Since April 2005, he has been a professor at the Graduate School of Visual Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. Kitano owns his own talent agency and production company, Office Kitano, which launched Tokyo Filmex in 2000.

23 Joanne Kyger
Kyger , Joanne

 | 

Joanne Kyger (born November 19, 1934) is an American poet. Her poetry is influenced by her practice of Zen Buddhism and her ties to the poets of Black Mountain, the San Francisco Renaissance, and the Beat generation .

24 Michael McClure
McClure , Michael

 | 

Michael McClure (born October 20, 1932 in Marysville, Kansas) is an American poet, playwright, songwriter, and novelist. After moving to San Francisco as a young man, he found fame as one of the five poets (including Allen Ginsberg) who read at the famous San Francisco Six Gallery reading in 1955 rendered in barely fictionalized terms in Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums. He soon became a key member of the Beat Generation and is immortalized as "Pat McLear" in Kerouac's Big Sur.. American poet playwright songwriter and novelist

25 Rod McKuen
McKuen , Rod

 | 

Rod McKuen (born April 29, 1933) is a bestselling American poet, composer, and singer.. American poet songwriter composer and singer

26 Barbara Moraff
Moraff , Barbara

 | 

Barbara Moraff (born 1939 Patterson, New Jersey ) is an American poet of the Beat generation living in Vermont. She continues to write, and also creates pottery and cooks.

27 Jane Musoke-Nteyafas
Musoke-Nteyafas , Jane

 | 

Jane Musoke-Nteyafas (born c. 1976) is a poet, writer, visual artist, columnist and playwright. She was born in Moscow, Russia, to Truman Musoke-Nteyafas, an Ugandan diplomat and politician, and Beatrice Musoke-Nteyafas, a visual artist and fashion designer .

28 Charles Olson
Olson , Charles

 | 

Charles Olson (27 December 1910 – 10 January 1970), was a second generation American modernist poet who was a link between earlier figures such as Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams and the New American poets, which includes the New York School, the Black Mountain School, the Beat poets, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Consequently, many postmodern groups, such as the poets of the Language School, include Olson as a primary and precedent figure. He described himself not so much as a poet or writer but as "an archeologist of morning.". American modernist poet

29 Robert Priest
Priest , Robert

 | 

Robert Priest (born 1951) is a British born Canadian poet and children's author. He has written numerous books of poetry, several children's novels, and has often appeared on CBC radio's hit spoken word show "Wordbeat" under the alias "Dr Poetry". He is well known for his aphorisms and performance poetry. His adult poetry has been categorized as surrealistic satire while his children's poetry is more tender, underpinned with a utopian hopefulness. Canadian novelist Barbara Gowdy has described him as "the voice of the people and the angels, entwined" and the Toronto star has called him "passionate, cocky, alternately adoring and insulting verse." Aside from poetry, Priest has also branched out over the years to write plays, novels and songs, many of which have earned him awards and recognition in Canadian literary circles.. British-born Canadian poet children's author and singer-songwriter

30 Blanaid Salkeld
Salkeld , Blanaid

 | 

Blánaid Salkeld (1880–1959) was an Irish poet, dramatist, and actor, whose well-known literary salon was attended by, among others, Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O'Brien. Her son, Cecil ffrench Salkeld was one of the leading Irish artists of the day; her granddaughter Beatrice married Brendan Behan .

31 Leslie Scalapino
Scalapino , Leslie

 | 

Leslie Scalapino (July 25, 1944 – May 28, 2010) was a United States poet, experimental prose writer, playwright, essayist, and editor, sometimes grouped in with the Language poets, though she felt closely tied to the Beat poets. A longtime resident of California's Bay Area, she earned an M.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley. Among her works, Scalapino is the author of way (North Point Press, 1988), a long poem which won the Poetry Center Award, the Lawrence Lipton Prize, and the American Book Award.. American poet experimental prose writer playwright essayist and editor; associated with the Language and Beat poets

32 Michael Smith
Smith , Michael

 | 

Michael Smith (born 1942) is an Irish poet, author and translator. A member of Aosdána, the Irish National Academy of Artists, Michael Smith was the first Writer in-Residence to be appointed by University College, Dublin and is an Honorary Fellow of UCD. He is a poet who has given a lifetime of service to the art of poetry both in English and Spanish. He has been described as a classical modernist, a poet of modern life. Smith founded New Writers Press in Dublin in 1967 (together with Trevor Joyce and his wife, Irene) and has been responsible for the publication of over seventy books and magazines. He was founder and editor of the influential literary magazine The Lace Curtain. From 1984 to 1989 he was a member of the Arts Council. He has translated into English and published some of the most difficult and exhilarating poets in Spanish, including Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Miguel Hernández (Unceasing Lightning) and the two great Spanish masters of the baroque, Francisco de Quevedo and Luis de Góngora. He has also translated Gerardo Diego 's Manual de espumas, a Selected Poems of José Hierro and selections of the poems of Jiménez and Luis Cernuda, among others. In 2001 he received the prestigious translating award, the European Academy Medal, for his translation of great Spanish poets. His own poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies of Irish poetry, including The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry. Among his most recent books are The Purpose of the Gift: Selected Poems and Maldon and Other Translations (NWP/ Shearsman). His poetry has been translated into Spanish, Polish, French and German. Among his most recent publications are Selected Poems of Rosalía de Castro, The Prison Poems of Miguel Hernández (Parlor Press) and, with Luis Ingelmo, Complete Poems of Claudio Rodriguéz (Shearsman Books), as well as Complete Poems of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. This year (2009), Shearsman has published his Collected Poems. With the Peruvian scholar Valentin Gianuzzi, he has translated and published (Shearsman Books) the complete poems of César Vallejo in four volumes. In 2009 he translated a selection of poems of the Spanish poet Juan Antonio Villacañas in collaboration with Beatriz Villacañas : Juan Antonio Villacañas: Selected Poems (Shearsman Books) .

33 Laura Ulewicz
Ulewicz , Laura

 | 

Laura Ulewicz (1930–2007) was an American Poet.. American Beat poet

34 Janine Pommy Vega
Vega , Janine Pommy

 | 

Janine Pommy Vega (February 5, 1942 – December 23, 2010) was an American poet associated with the Beats.

35 Philip Whalen
Whalen , Philip

 | 

Philip Glenn Whalen (20 October 1923 – 26 June 2002) was an American poet, Zen Buddhist, and a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance and close to the Beat generation.. American poet Zen Buddhist and a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance; close to the Beat generation