If you’re not an Instagrammer you may never have heard of Rupi Kaur. In fact, if you’re not a young female Instagrammer, then your chances are probably even slimmer.
And yet, with almost 750,000 Instagram followers and more than half a million copies of her debut poetry collection, Milk and Honey, sold worldwide, Kaur is one of the biggest names on the literary scene right now.
Dubbed the queen of an emerging trend of “Instapoets”, this 24-year-old Indian-Canadian writer is leading the charge in an exciting new movement of young writers reclaiming poetry for the digital age.
Fierce as they are fleeting, Kaur’s poems are the kind that can be read on a morning commute, a coffee break. Poems that can be screenshot and shared, re-blogged and repurposed.
With her posts gaining upwards of 50,000 likes a pop, it might be tempting to read their impact in simply “viral” terms – transient and trivial, clickable and forgettable. But this would be to underestimate their impact on an emerging online readership.