5 Breakout Black Poets to Watch

As we celebrate Black History Month, it is an opportune time to spotlight the creativity, innovation, and unique perspectives offered by a new generation of Black poets. This article introduces you to five breakout Black poets whose words resonate with authenticity, challenge conventional norms, and promise to leave an indelible mark on the literary world. These poets, through their diverse styles and powerful voices, represent the richness and dynamism of contemporary Black poetry.


Ebonee Davis

This Seattle-born poet, model, actor, and activist has spent the last six years using her platform to advocate for diversity in the fashion industry. In 2017, she penned an open letter to the industry calling for more “positive, accurate and inclusive imagery.” Her memoir-style poetry collection, Daughter, provides a moving and healing look at what it means to break generational cycles and begin to heal.  


Genesis Be 

This renowned poet, peace activist, and artist hails from Biloxi, Mississippi. Known for using theatrical protest during her performances, Genesis has been featured in the Associated Press, the New York Times, and VICE. Through painting, acting, and poetry, Genesis brings attention to issues surrounding racial justice, queer visibility, and gender equality. Her debut poetry collection, People Not Things, is available for preorder now. 


Pierre Jeanty

Best known for his international bestsellers HER and HER Vol. 2, Pierre has fifteen books published, a majority focusing on dating, love, and relationships. The Haitian-American author uses his journeys and lessons from the past to inspire readers to be better to one another and to keep faith in love alive. 


Tank Ball

Perhaps best known for being Grammy-nominated band Tank and the Bangas’s lead vocalist, Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball branched into the written word with Vulnerable AF in 2021. This debut collection tells the story of the singer’s real-life relationship. Told with a sense of humor, whimsy, and realness, the audiobook was an Audie Award nominee. 


Valerie June

A musician, singer, songwriter, poet, illustrator, actor, and more, there are few creative pursuits Valerie June hasn’t mastered. After three critically acclaimed solo albums, June went on to write her first book, Maps for the Modern World, which quickly became an Amazon #1 Best Seller in poetry. She also authored a children’s book titled Somebody to Love: The Story of Valerie June’s Sweet Baby Banjolele. Her latest book, Light Beams, is an interactive journal designed to inspire self-healing, harmony, balance, and joy in our lives. 


In a world hungry for fresh perspectives and unfiltered truths, the emergence of these five breakout Black poets is a cause for celebration. Their words transcend boundaries, inviting readers to delve into the complexities of identity, culture, and the human experience. As we conclude this exploration into the poetic brilliance of these rising stars, it is evident that their impact extends far beyond the pages of their works. They are not just poets; they are architects of change, weaving verses that challenge, inspire, and resonate with the pulse of our times. With eager anticipation, we look forward to witnessing the continued growth and influence of these poets, confident that their voices will continue to enrich the literary tapestry for years to come.