Best Local Poets In Baltimore

November 18, 2013 6:00 AM

Edgar Allan Poe set the scene, and today, Baltimore’s poets are continuing with equal passion and talent to advance the city’s growing poetry movement. While there are many local writers who have contributed significantly to this art, this list highlights poets who bring a special added value not only to their work, but to the readers who follow them. For readers who enjoy adventuring to a nearby coffee shop, library or arts venue to experience poetry, these poets are actively involved in the greater Baltimore area to engage, excite and challenge your mind.
university of maryland sign, college parkStanley Plumly

As Maryland’s poet laureate with numerous honors that include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Stanley Plumly is one of the most well-known poets in the area. His poems are composed of two distinct styles: descriptive and lyrical poetry, and more narrative prose. However, all of his works are rooted in nature and encompass in some way his father and in many cases, his mother. Plumly’s delicate attention to family relationships, specifically parents’ impact on children, engages readers who likewise are pursuing a deeper understanding of the psychology behind this intimate kinship bond and dependence. Some of his most recently published books of poetry are “Orphan Hours: Poems” (2013), “Old Heart” (2007) and “The Marriage in the Trees” (1997).

Related: Best Places To Read Your Book With Coffee In Baltimore



Marie Abate

As a Hampden-based poet, Marie Abate’s works can be read in local publications like Urbanite and the Baltimore Sun, as well as a variety of other journals, including Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore!, Crack the Spine, The MOM Egg and Weave. She is also the award winner of Best of the Net and also is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Abate has an enchanted quality to her poetry that wraps readers into a silky web of melodic narratives from the very first sentence. With a knack for natural imagery and vivid, yet subtlety plotted descriptions, it’s no surprise that each new piece she writes continues to attract and amaze followers. Often a co-host at open mic nights, Baltimore residents would be lucky to catch a live reading from this up-and-coming poet.

Dennis Barnes

Dennis Barnes is editor of Poets’ Ink and also leads poetry workshops in Baltimore, so local poets can both read their works and hear constructive critique from fellow poets. He regularly travels the greater Baltimore area for poetry readings, including the Enoch Pratt Library, and his first published collection of poems is called “Shades of Light” (2007). In 2005, he was winner of the “Done the Most to Advance Poetry” award by People’s Poetry. But aside from all of his many contributions to advancing the poetry movement in Baltimore, Barnes also gives of himself through his poems, which contain very personal thoughts, emotions and a wealth of images to move the reader. Each well-placed detail makes the scene come to life, and even the simplest idea can be crafted into an unforgettable tumble through inner struggle and accomplishment.

Cherrie Amour

Baltimore-based author and poet Cherrie Amour can bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together through her writings on life, love and relationships. As a contemporary spoken songs artist, she has two CDs in addition to a recently released book of poetry entitled “Free to Be Me.” When listening to her songs and readings, each word blends effortlessly together with the next giving the piece an almost hypnotic, lyrical quality. Amour stands as an example to all aspiring poets of how to best incorporate modernity into the world of poetry without skipping a beat.

Adeke Rose

A spoken word artist and poet in the Baltimore area, Adeke Rose shares with openness and honesty the numerous challenges she has faced in her life, such as disability. By overcoming this personal trauma, she has found much success in transforming poetry to bring healing, coping and, above all, hope to readers. She also tackles tough issues from cultural differences to being a voice for victims of violence. Her latest CD, “Wounded Kings and Warrior Women,” was recently released in June 2013 and past works include her “Autobiography of a Rose” (2010) album and two chapbooks. You can find Rose performing in theatre, at conferences, during open mic nights and across the country in addition to local venues in Baltimore.

Related: Best Book Clubs In Baltimore

Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her online at