The Insta-poets you should be following
It is National Poetry Month, guys
By Sophie Swift
As we’ve now officially entered into National Poetry Month – and we’re still spending more time than ever online – the HLN team wanted to share the accounts of a few Insta-poets we really think you’d like to have on your radar.
Unlike other art forms, poetry isn’t afraid of the digital age – rather than being confined to dusty bookshelves in the libraries that are being closed down all around us, poetry has risen up and made its mark on the world of social media. And that hasn’t been to the detriment of its paper counterparts, either. Since 2015, the USA has seen annual poetry book sales grow by 21%, while the UK saw a 12% rise in poetry books in 2018 alone. In fact, many of these books have been compiled by writers who first found fame online.
It appears that women and girls identify as the largest consumer of poetry. Many of the big-hitters in the Insta-poet world are women too. The correlation probably isn’t a coincidence. These women are speaking to our experiences and our passions. That’s why we think you’re probably going to want to have them on your cultural radar (if you haven’t already).
Charly Cox, @charlycox1
Best-selling British poet, writer and mental health activist, Charly Cox began sharing her work on Instagram in January 2017. She started writing every day until she received her book deal the following year. She published She Must be Mad in 2018 with Harper Collins, a poetry collection including work she had written between the ages of 15-18. The anthology tackles many coming-of-age issues, including body image, dating and struggles with mental health. Since then, she has also published her second collection of poetry, Validate Me, and regularly updates her Instagram with new poems to keep our appetites whet for whatever she has planned next.
Amanda Lovelace @ladybookmad
Amanda Lovelace is a best-selling American poet who has grown in popularity as a result of her sharing her works on social media sites Instagram and Tumblr. Lovelace has published two trilogies, Women are Some Kind of Magic, which includes the princess saves herself in this one, the witch doesn’t burn in this one, and the mermaid’s voice returns in this one; and Be Your Own Fairy Tale, which includes break your glass slippers and shine your icy crown, which has just been released this year. If strong, empowering poetry is your cup of tea, then Amanda Lovelace is for you. (Spoiler alert – she’s for us too).
Nikita Gill @nikita_gill
Inspired by poets such as Sylvia Plath and Dr Maya Angelou, Nikita Gill is a poet and writer who has used social media to share her poetry to a growing audience that currently sits at 605,000 followers on Instagram alone. Gill has published six volumes of poetry and was first published when she was 12 years old. Her most recent works include Greek Goddesses: Life lessons from myths and monsters (2019), and Your Heart is the Sea (2019). Her work is eye-opening, sensitive, and strong while offering reflections of love amid feminist retellings of fairy tales and Greek myths.
Lang Leav @langleav
In 2012, Lang Leav began posting her poetry on Tumblr and her work quickly grew in popularity. By 2013 she had self-published her first collection of poetry and prose titled, Love and Misadventure. The book was a surprise hit and caught the attention of literary agents in New York; within no time the book was ranked top on Amazon’s bestselling list. Since then, she has continued to publish frank poems about love, sex, heartache, and betrayal, and now has another five poetry titles published. Sharing snippets and teasers of her unpublished work on Instagram is a brilliant way for fans to get talking about upcoming releases while connecting with the creative herself. Definitely a poet worth investing in.