writers The Greatest Black Female Poets  

Celebrity Lists
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List Rules Vote up the top black women poets around the world.

"You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies, / You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I’ll rise." Maya Angelou published these lines in 1978, and they still resonate today. She's one of the many great black female poets celebrated on this list. Some talented black women poets write about love and heartbreak, while other famous African American poets are best known for expressing outrage at the way black women are treated by society at large.

Who will you find on this list of the top black female poets? The aforementioned Angelou would often perform live readings of her poetry at venues all over the world. Civil rights activist Audre Lorde is another one of the most popular female black poets of her generation. June Jordan's first book, Who Look at Me, was a collection of children's poems. Other talented black female poets featured on this list include Lucille Clifton, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker.

Which black female poet do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give the best poets a thumbs up and share some of your favorite quotes in the comments section.

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Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Sister, Sister

The Best Poets of the 20th Century The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

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Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Alice Walker The Color Purple, Possessing the Secret of Joy, The Temple of My Familiar

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Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Toni Morrison Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye

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Audre Lorde is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Audre Lorde The Cancer Journals, The Marvelous Arithmetic of Distance: Poems 1987-1992, Undersong: Chosen Poems Old and New

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June Jordan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
June Jordan Soldier: A Poet's Childhood, Kissing God goodbye, Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan

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Sonia Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Sonia Sanchez Wounded in the house of a friend, Homegirls & Handgrenades, Does Your House Have Lions ?

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Elizabeth Alexander is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Elizabeth Alexander American Sublime, Power and Possibility, The Venus Hottentot

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Gwendolyn Brooks is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Gwendolyn Brooks In the Mecca; Poems, Annie Allen

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Nikki Giovanni is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Nikki Giovanni Rosa, The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni, Cotton candy on a rainy day

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Natasha Trethewey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Natasha Trethewey Native Guard, Bellocq's Ophelia, Thrall: Poems

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Claudia Rankine is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Claudia Rankine Plot, The Provenance of Beauty; A South Bronx Travelogue, The end of the alphabet

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Rita Dove is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Rita Dove Thomas and Beulah, On the Bus with Rosa Parks, American Smooth

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Ntozake Shange is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Ntozake Shange for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, Liliane, Nappy Edges

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Angelina Weld Grimké is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets

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Phillis Wheatley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Phillis Wheatley Poems of Phillis Wheatley, The collected works of Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects

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Nikky Finney is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Nikky Finney Head Off & Split, On wings made of gauze, The world is round

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Anne Spencer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets

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Lucille Clifton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Poets
Lucille Clifton Good news about the earth, Good Woman: Poems and A Memoir, 1969-1980