By Molly Ashby
Rupi Kaur was just 21 when she wrote, illustrated and self-published her first poetry collection, ‘Milk and Honey’.
The 28-year-old Punjabi-Canadian quickly became recognised by millions – something of an anomaly in the poetry world – when the debut collection rose to the New York Times bestseller list and stayed there comfortably for the following 52 weeks. Next, came its artistic sibling, ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’ and together the collections have sold over 8 million copies to date, having been translated into more than 42 languages worldwide. Last month, the highly-anticipated third collection ‘Home Body’ debuted at number one on bestseller lists worldwide.
Rupi writes movingly about immigration, domestic violence, sexual assault and other substantial subjects, with the themes of self-care and self-love running through all three of her collections. Also touching on love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity and migration, she has consistently built her success on relatable and moving content. Rupi established herself not in poetry journals like the traditional poets we love, but on platforms like Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, where she leads the modern charge of ‘Instapoets’ with an unprecedented 4 million followers.