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English Poets

British Poets For International Students To Discover

April 13, 2018

As April is National Poetry Month in the US we thought we’d take the opportunity to share some of the best British poets that we have here in the UK.

Many international students who are studying in the UK find that reading English literature helps their language skills to develop. We’ve previously written about 5 books students should read who are studying English, but this time we thought we’d focus on poets!

Here are some wonderful British poets for international students to discover – if they haven’t already!

Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage is an English poet, playwright and novelist. He is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. He has written over twenty poetry collections and continues to be a beloved poet in the UK. Some of his most noted collections include Kid and Book of Matches.

Carol Ann Duffy

Dame Carol Ann Duffy is a Scottish poet. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain’s Poet Laureate in May 2009. Some of her most famous collections include Standing Female Nude and The World’s Wife.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He is often called England’s national poet. He is known mostly for his plays which are world famous and have been translated into many languages. He’s also known for introducing many words into the English language, such as “belongings,” “eventful,” and “fashionable.” When Shakespeare was alive, English grammar, spelling, and pronunciation were less standardised than they are now, and his use of language helped shape modern English.

John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke is an English performance poet who first became famous during the punk rock era of the late 1970s. He’s often called a “punk poet.” Some of his most recognised poems include I Married A Monster From Outer Space, Evidently Chickentown and I Wanna Be Yours. You can find some of his performances on Youtube.

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature. He is best known for the publication Lyrical Ballads, which he wrote with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and his own poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. Wordsworth was Britain’s poet laureate from 1843 until he died in 1850.

William Blake

Another poet from the Romantic Age, William Blake combined visual arts with the written word. He gained more notoriety for his work after he had died. Blake’s most famous work in poetry is the collection Songs of Innocence and of Experience which produced one of his most famous poems, The Tyger.

International students who are studying English in the UK may find these poets particularly helpful during their studies!