Most are widely-published, and were beloved figures; a few were more "obscure"; one or two were best known as performance poets. One is a quasi-fictional figure (Mayall). All were linked to poetry in their obituaries this year. A few I counted as friends.
Every death is terrible; the death of a poet no more or less than another's, except in how it closes the conversation that poet had with life and the world - from then on, all we have is what they were able to say, to write, to compose, to edit, to erase, to publish, while alive.
Poets are not always the easiest people to love while living - but once they become their words, their books, they become loveable. Larkin is the best example.
But there are many others. I wish these poets posthumous readers. And to their family and friends, students and colleagues, peers and readers, I offer condolences. I also welcome additional entries (though I do not wish for more dead poets) and any information you wish to send me; and of course, corrections.
EMMA LOU THAYNE
JOHN HARTLEY WILLIAMS
MAYA ANGELOUPHYLISS JANOWITZ
RIK MAYALL (THE PEOPLE’S POET)
Tomaž ŠalamunwENDELL BROWN