I've always been a fan of poetry. As a kid, I loved it for its apparent lack of structure, the way it gave me the ability to express myself and tell stories without any real constraints. As a 10-year-old, I hadn't yet reached the point where self-consciousness tagged along with any creative venture, and so the silly poems I wrote were shared with wild abandon and entered into school contests.
One poem I wrote from the perspective of a wild mustang (ha ha) was chosen as a winner and was published in a region-wide book of kids' work. Reading it back now is a cringe-inducing experience, but I have to admire my fire.
Now that I'm older, I've grown much more protective of certain aspects of my self-expression, and while I do share some facets of myself with the world, my poetry is something that I choose to keep private. Eventually I would like to attempt to publish the work somewhere, but the fearlessness of my 10-year-old self has faded, and so I'm sure I'd have to do so with the help of a pseudonym.
Though I have a wariness towards my own work, my love of other peoples' poetry is something I have no trouble sharing. I love adding new poetry collections to my bookshelf and discussing my favourite pieces with friends. Right now I'm particularly enjoying the work of people like Anne Sexton, Frank O'Hara and Rainer Maria Rilke (click each name for a selected favourite).
Thing is, these people are all dead. While I'm sure they appreciate my support from beyond the grave, I really want to get into more current poets. I'm not sure where to start though. I've found myself liking work posted by 21st-century writers on sites like Tumblr, but I definitely need some other sources.
So tell me, who are your favourite new poets? You can share your favourite "classic" folks with me too, I'm not picky! Maybe you even want to share your own work? Bonus points if it's something you wrote as a kid, because as embarrassing as that stuff can be, it's nice to see too.
Basically, I just want to chat about poetry of all kinds, so hop to it!