Confessional poetry is a genre of autobiographical poetry disclosing intimate, often psychologically painful, aspects of the author's life. These may be related to wider historical, social or cultural themes.
The genre came to the fore in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s. While a number of earlier poets - including the Latin poets Propertius and Horace - wrote in apparently revealing ways about their lives, this usually involved a persona or mask - that is, the assumption of a "pretend" character. In contrast, the confessional poets sought to be honest in the exploration of their inmost selves. The term 'confessional' was probably first used by M. L. Rosenthal in a 1959 review of Life Studies by Robert Lowell.
Among those who have written confessional poetry are: