Beau Taplin

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About Beau Taplin

Australian poet who has won over fans around the world with self-published collections like Blood, Buried Light and The Wild Heart. Much of his work has been spread across social media, being quoted by thousands of fans on platforms like Tumblr and Instagram.

Early life

He grew up in Melbourne, Australia and originally wanted to become a paleontologist.

Trivia

He has written lyrics for the band For Our Hero.

Family of Beau Taplin

He is the brother of Jay Taplin, singer for the band The Native Architects.

Close associates of Beau Taplin

Like Ross Clark, he is a famous Australian poet.

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Edgar Allan Poe

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About Edgar Allan Poe

An American literary icon known for his macabre tales and poems, he is most famous for “The Black Cat,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and other works of Gothic fiction. His timeless poems include “Lenore,” “The Raven,” and “Annabel Lee.”

Early life

After his mother died of tuberculosis in 1811, Poe was informally adopted by a wealthy Scottish merchant named John Allan.

Trivia

He was intensely interested in both cryptology and cosmology.

Family of Edgar Allan Poe

The son of stage actors, he was named after a character in William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy King Lear. He had a younger sister named Rosalie and an older brother named William. From 1836 until 1847, he was married to Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe.

Close associates of Edgar Allan Poe

Gaston Leroux followed in Poe’s footsteps, making huge contributions to the French detective fiction genre.

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Alice Walker

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About Alice Walker

African-American poet and author who is best known for her Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning novel, The Color Purple. Her other literary works include Meridian (1976) and Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems (1973).

Early life

She began writing at age eight and completed her first book of poetry while she was a student at Sarah Lawrence College. She worked as an editor for Ms. magazine before moving to California in the 1970s.

Trivia

She met Martin Luther King, Jr. in the early 1960s and worked in Mississippi as a Civil Rights activist.

Family of Alice Walker

She was born one of seven siblings to Willie Lee Walker and Minnie Lou Tallulah Grant. In 1967, she and Melvyn Roseman Leventhal became the first interracial couple to legally marry in the state of Mississippi. They divorced in 1976. Her daughter, Rebecca Walker, is also a writer. 

Close associates of Alice Walker

She was inspired by Civil Rights activist, Rosa Parks.

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Gary Soto

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About Gary Soto

Mexican-American poet and novelist best known for The Tale of Sunlight, his 1978 Pulitzer Prize-nominated poetry collection. He is also famous for Living Up the Street, a 1985 American Book Award-winning memoir, as well as several works of fiction for children. 

Early life

He attended the University of California-Irvine and California State University-Fresno.

Trivia

He wrote Baseball in April and other award-winning books for children and young adults.

Family of Gary Soto

He was born in Fresno, California to a Mexican- American family. He married Carolyn Oda in 1975 and he has a son named Mariko.

Close associates of Gary Soto

He was inspired by the literary work of John Steinbeck.

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Langston Hughes

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About Langston Hughes

African-American poet, author, activist, and Harlem Renaissance leader whose best-known works include The Weary Blues, Montage of a Dream Deferred, Not Without Laughter, and Black Nativity. He published his masterpiece poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” in 1921.

Early life

He wrote his first plays, poems, and short stories during his high school years in Cleveland, Ohio.

Trivia

He was one of the first jazz poets.

Family of Langston Hughes

He was born in Missouri to Carrie Mercer Langston and James Nathaniel Hughes, both of whom traced their heritage back to both slaves and slave owners.

Close associates of Langston Hughes

He greatly influenced the work of French author Aime Cesaire.

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Robert Burns

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About Robert Burns

Major Scottish poet associated with the Romantic movement and known for such poem-songs as “Auld Lang Syne” and “A Red, Red Rose.” The first edition of his Scottish-dialect poems was published in 1786.

Early life

He worked as a farmhand in his younger years. He grew up in Alloway, Scotland as the oldest of seven children.

Trivia

He is considered Scotland’s national poet.

Family of Robert Burns

He had an illegitimate child with his mother’s maid and later married Jean Amour, with whom he had nine more children.

Close associates of Robert Burns

J.D. Salinger took the title of his famous novel Catcher in the Rye from Burns’ poem “Comin’ Through the Rye.”

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Amanda Gorman

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About Amanda Gorman

Poet whose material has focused on subjects ranging from feminism to African culture. She gained significant attention after reading her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the January 2021 inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden. At the age of 22, she became the youngest poet ever to read at a presidential inauguration.

Early life

She attended a private school in Santa Monica, California called New Roads School from kindergarten through 12th grade. She studied sociology at Harvard University. 

Trivia

She published her first collection of poetry, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough, in 2015. She became the first National Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S. in 2017.  She has over 1.5 million followers on her TheAmandaGorman Twitter account.

Family of Amanda Gorman

She was raised by her mother, Joan Wicks, who worked as a teacher. She has two siblings, including a twin sister named Gabrielle. 

Close associates of Amanda Gorman

Her reading at the 2021 U.S. presidential inauguration came at a historic time, as Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first Black, first female, and first Asian American vice president in U.S. history. 

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Rupi Kaur

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About Rupi Kaur

Canadian poet and spoken word artist who initially rose to fame on Instagram and Tumblr sharing her short visual poetry. After gaining 4.1 million followers on Instagram for her poignant verses, she released her debut poetry collection Milk and Honey.

Early life

She inherited her love of art from her mother and began drawing and painting at five years old. She continued her art into her teens, but at the age of seventeen began to focus more in writing and performing.

Trivia

She released her second poetry collection, The Sun and her Flowers, in October 2017. 

Family of Rupi Kaur

She and her parents immigrated to Toronto, Canada when she was a child. Her sister, Keerat, is an artist and singer and performed the song version of her poem “Milk and Honey.”

Close associates of Rupi Kaur

She retweeted journalist Rana Ayyub in February 2021.

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Maya Angelou

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About Maya Angelou

An African-American poet and author, she is known for her 1969 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, as well as for her poem “On the Pulse of Morning.”

Early life

She was mute for five years as the result of trauma and, during this period, developed her lifelong love of literature.

Trivia

Her 1971 poetry collection, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Family of Maya Angelou

She gave birth to her first son at the age of seventeen, just three weeks after finishing high school. She was married to Enistasious Tosh Angelos from 1951 to 1954 and Paul du Fec from 1973 to 1981. 

Close associates of Maya Angelou

She recited one of her poems at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration.

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