Top 100 (19) Poets

As with all the "Top 100" lists I've compiled or am compiling, this is just my personal favorites, it's not intended as an 'absolutely objective' list of poets who're 'unquestionably GREAT'. Obviously, I'm not familiar with all the work of all poets & what I like &/or love is based on personal criteria as well as during what period of my life I was exposed to the work that will differ from the criteria & exposure period of other people interested in the subject. Probably what's most important to me is how innovative & original they seem to be to me. I seek out the work that I find most stimulating.

I don't usually include friends of mine on these lists. That way I can avoid all sorts of ego problems. However, I do make the occasional exception - in this case by including Chris Mason & Jackson Mac Low (who I didn't know that well but who I still considered a friend). I don't include myself, even though I consider myself to be a great writer, b/c I reject the context of "poetry".

[Ok, ok, strictly speaking I write "Butt Poems" & "Instagram Poetry" - but those are special cases.]

For far too many of these poets I've only had the chance to learn about their work in extraordinary anthologies. Ferdinand Kriwet in the Emmett William's edited section of "Open Poetry", e.g.. As such, I'm hardly an expert on Kriwet's poetry & have been mainly reminded of its extistence by revisiting the anthology. In fact, I cd probably include everyone whose work appears in anything Williams curates, it's all so remarkable. For the moment, at last, I'm trying to be a bit more particular - but I'm not sure it's really working.

In fact, there're so many extraordinary anthologies w/ amazing work in them that just about everyone in them deserves some sort of recognition here. Here's a list of some of those publications:

"Once Again" edited by Jean-François Bory

"Text-Sound Texts" edited by Richard Kostelanetz

"Anthology of Concrete Poetry" edited by Emmett Williams

"Concrete Poetry - A World View" edited by Mary Ellen Solt

- January 28, 2021 note from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE


001. Bennett, John M.

002. Cage, John

003. Coolidge, Clark

004. Dewdney, Christopher

005. Ferlinghetti, Lawrence

006. Kriwet, Ferdinand

007. levy, d.a.

008. Mac Low, Jackson

009. Mason, Chris

010. Mayer, Bernadette

011. McCaffery, Steve

012. Patchen, Kenneth

013. Sanders, Ed

014. Stater, Bruce

015. Tardos, Anne

016. Tolson, Melvin B.

017. Villon, François

018. Weiner, Hannah

019. Zukofsky, Louis








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