National poetry month
National poetry month. Inspired by other month-long celebrations in the United States, a national literary organization proclaimed April belonged to poetry. And for 15 years, collections of prose by American-born poets have been praised and performed everywhere from classrooms to cafes. How are your reciting abilities?
Maya Angelou
Birth: April 4, 1928

Superstar poet Maya Angelou delivered one of her most famous poems, “On the Pulse of Morning” during this southern-born president’s inauguration
Robert Frost
Birth: March 26, 1874

Four-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Frost achieved fame with his poetry about rural life in this picturesque region, which is probably why this celebrated president invited him to the inauguration.
Emily Dickinson
Birth: Dec. 10, 1830

Prolific poet Emily Dickinson penned more than 1,700 poems, but most of them were never published during her lifetime. Some scholars speculate the reclusive writer suffered from a type of anxiety disorder.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Birth: Feb. 27, 1807

Lyric poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the most famous American prose master of his day. Besides penning his own works, the multilingual Longfellow translated poems of an acclaimed European artist
Walt Whitman
Birth: May 31, 1819

Often called “father of the free verse,” Walt Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon and a self-publishing icon for his most famous work
Sylvia Plath
Birth: Oct. 27, 1932

The tragic death of poet Sylvia Plath is almost as famous as her prose. The first poet awarded a Pulitzer Prize posthumously; her most famous work was published after her passing. In addition, a related disorder bears her name.
T. S. Eliot
Birth: Sept. 26, 1888

Nobel Prize-winning poet T. S. Eliot spent most of his life living in his adopted homeland. But the famous poet did teach at an Ivy League institution after his disastrous first marriage
Edgar Allan Poe
Birth: Jan. 19, 1809

Romantic Movement poet, critic and author Edgar Allan Poe is revered for his gothic tales (buy them) and as the detective-fiction inventor, but his poetry made him a household name.
Gwendolyn Brooks
Birth: June 7, 1917

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks also served as U.S. Poet Laureate (what’s that?) among many other literary accolades. Referring to her style as “folksy narrative,” Brooks’ poems often depicted political consciousness and social commentary
Langston Hughes
Birth: Feb. 1, 1902

Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes achieved international fame using the new jazz-poetry form. But before the literary accolades and admirers, Hughes worked non-literary gigs, such as personal assistant to an acclaimed historian.
E. E. Cummings
Birth: Oct. 14, 1894

Prolific poet E.E. Cummings wrote nearly 3,000 poems while working other jobs, such as portrait artist for a women’s magazine. The popular poet was also an ardent admirer of a bombastic politician.
Nikki Giovanni
Birth: June 7, 1943

At the convocation after this campus tragedy, NAACP Image Award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni delivered one of her most significant works