female professionals The Best Female Poets of All Time  

Originally by
787 votes 119 voters 5.7k views 72 items Follow Embed

List Rules Vote up the all time greatest female poets

Who are the best female poets? This list includes great female poets such as Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sylvia Plath, and Emily Dickinson. The women on this list have all changed poetry in their own way and left their mark on the genre. Women have been writing poetry through many eras and generations, but the poets on this list are the best.

Written works have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories on the page. Whether short or long form, poetry is often illusory, and full of rich imagery or hidden meaning. It is these elements which provoke readers to dig deeper. The best poems and poets are read throughout the ages. They are passed from generation to generation and taught throughout schools to young students.

Poets and their poetry have the ability to take readers places and into worlds never imagined. Poets can often be tortured souls or great thinkers who allow readers a new view on the world. These greatest women poets provide the kind of emotional connection to the written word that few can.

Vote up the best woman poets on the list below, or add the women poets you think are the top if they aren't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
+ - 33 7
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Emily Dickinson The complete poems, The letters, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson

The Greatest Female Novelists Ever The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

2
+ - 21 10
Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar, Ariel, The Collected Poems

3
+ - 28 16
Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Sister, Sister

4
+ - 14 8
Edna St. Vincent Millay is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Edna St. Vincent Millay Fatal interview, The murder of Lidice, The harp-weaver and other poems

5
+ - 15 8
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Elizabeth Barrett Browning Sonnets from the Portuguese, Poems and Letters, New Poems by Robert Browning and elizabeth Barrett Browning

6
+ - 17 12
Sappho is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Sappho Sappho, the poems and fragments, Woman from child (Sappho)

7
+ - 11 6
Christina Rossetti is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Christina Rossetti What Is Pink?, The Skylark, From Queens' Gardens

8
+ - 14 10
Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre

9
+ - 10 6
Marianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Marianne Moore The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore, Homage to Henry James, Tell me

10
+ - 6 2
Adrienne Rich is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Adrienne Rich Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972, An Atlas of the Difficult World, Midnight Salvage: Poems 1995-1998

11
+ - 12 7
Gwendolyn Brooks is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Gwendolyn Brooks In the Mecca; Poems, Annie Allen

12
+ - 9 6
Elizabeth Bishop is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Elizabeth Bishop Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters

13
+ - 7 4
Amy Lowell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Amy Lowell Six French poets, Ballads for sale, A critical fable

14
+ - 6 3
Hedwig Gorski is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time

15
+ - 7 4
Anne Sexton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Anne Sexton Verwandlungen / Transformations, All My Pretty Ones, Live or Die

The Greatest Black Female Poets The Most Overrated Books of All Time

16
+ - 7 4
Mary Oliver is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Mary Oliver Long Life: Essays And Other Writings, Why I Wake Early: New Poems, White Pine: Poems and Prose Poems

17
+ - 5 2
Audre Lorde is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Audre Lorde The Cancer Journals, The Marvelous Arithmetic of Distance: Poems 1987-1992, Undersong: Chosen Poems Old and New

18
+ - 6 4
Alice Fulton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Alice Fulton Felt, Palladium, Sensual Math

19
+ - 8 8
H.D. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
H.D. Asphodel, Her, Red Roses for Bronze

20
+ - 9 6
Sara Teasdale is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Sara Teasdale Helen of Troy and Other Poems, Love Songs, Flame and Shadow

21
+ - 12 9
Dorothy Parker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Dorothy Parker Saboteur, A Star Is Born, A Star Is Born

22
+ - 4 3
Thylias Moss is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Thylias Moss Slave moth, Tale of a sky-blue dress, Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler

23
+ - 3 2
Louise Glück is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Louise Glück Averno, The Wild Iris, The Seven Ages

24
+ - 11 9
Nikki Giovanni is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Nikki Giovanni Rosa, The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni, Cotton candy on a rainy day

25
+ - 7 7
Anna Akhmatova is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Anna Akhmatova Anna Akhmatova, Selected Poems, Chetki

26
+ - 5 5
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale, The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace - She's written a very significant body of excellent poetry.

27
+ - 5 5
Louise Bogan is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Louise Bogan Dark summer, Collected Poems, 1923-1953

28
+ - 7 6
Marina Tsvetaeva is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Marina Tsvetaeva Izbrannai͡a︡ proza v dvukh tomakh, Za vsekh-protivu vsekh!, The Poem of the End

29
+ - 1 1
Nazik Al-Malaika is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time

The Best Ever Female Sci-Fi Authors 29 Things Worth Spending a Little Extra On

30
+ - 1 1
Ghada al-Samman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Ghada Al Saman Beirut '75, Zamn AL Hob Al Akhr, Sofart Inzar Dakhel Raasy

31
+ - 5 6
Denise Levertov is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Denise Levertov Collection of serials with contributions by or articles about Denise Levertov, Seth Thomas, Breathing the Water

32
+ - 10 12
Anne Brontë is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Anne Brontë The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Agnes Grey, Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters

33
+ - 2 3
Fanny Howe is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Fanny Howe Angria, The wedding dress, (Sic)

34
+ - 1 2
Louise Labé is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Louise Labé Les sonnets. The sonnets, Sonnets, Œuvres poétiques

35
+ - 1 2
Gabriela Mistral is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Gabriela Mistral Lagar II, Selected prose and prose-poems, Producción de Gabriela Mistral de 1912 a 1918

36
+ - 1 2
Edith Södergran is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Edith Södergran Som en eld över askan, Kohtaamisia, Elämäni

37
+ - 1 2
Marge Piercy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Marge Piercy City of Darkness, City of Light, Woman on the Edge of Time

38
+ - 0 1
Elif Şafak is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Elif Şafak The Gaze, The Flea Palace, The Happiness of Blond People

39
+ - 0 1
is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Asia JAssia Djebar (Arabic: آسيا جبار‎) was the pen name of Fatima-Zohra Imalayen (30 June 1936 – 6 February 2015), an Algerian novelist, translator and filmmaker. Most of her works deal with obstacles faced by women, and she is ...

40
+ - 5 5
Eavan Boland is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Eavan Boland Object lessons, Outside History, After Every War

41
+ - 1 2
Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Emily Brontë Wuthering Heights, Gondal poems, Poems by Currer - Her poetry is better than her sisters'.

42
+ - 5 5
Elinor Wylie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Elinor Wylie The novels of Elinor Wylie, The Venetian Glass Nephew, The orphan angel

43
+ - 2 2
Petya Dubarova is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Petya Dubarova Lyastovitsa. Stihove i Razkazi, Az i Moreto

The 10 Most Tortured Beat Generation Poets The Best Soccer Players of All Time

44
+ - 0 1
Sor Juana is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Sor Juana Poesía, teatro y prosa, Los empeños de una casa =

45
+ - 4 6
Anne Bradstreet is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Anne Bradstreet The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, Early New England Meditative Poetry, works of Anne Bradstreet in prose and verse

46
+ - 4 6
Katherine Mansfield is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Katherine Mansfield The Garden Party, Something Childish But Very Natural, Prelude

47
+ - 4 6
Phillis Wheatley is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Phillis Wheatley Poems of Phillis Wheatley, The collected works of Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects

48
+ - 3 5
Julia Ward Howe is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Julia Ward Howe From the oak to the olive, The Hermaphrodite, Margaret Fuller (Marchesa Ossoli)

49
+ - 2 4
Rosanna Warren is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Rosanna Warren Stained Glass: Poems, Fables of the self, Each leaf shines separate

50
+ - 1 3
Anaïs Nin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Anaïs Nin Delta of Venus, Incest: From a Journal of Love, Henry and June