Rupi Kaur’s straightforward writing style and use of universal themes like love and loss helped her connect to a wide range of readers, but it was her embrace of social media that really helped spread her work. Her debut poetry collection, 2014’s milk and honey, spent more than a year on the New York Times’s bestseller list, and her short verses on abuse, grief, femininity and empowerment have earned her a legion of followers. They’ll have the chance to hear her read her work live next month when she stops in Washington on her book tour.
Before the book was published, the 24-year-old made a name for herself by lashing out against Instagram for repeatedly deleting a photo of her lying in a bed stained with menstrual blood. The fight earned her media coverage and a fanbase; today she has more than 1.5 million followers on the app, which she uses to post her poems and artwork. Kaur’s success is so tied to Instagram that she’s been dubbed an “instapoet” by critics.
On October 10 she’ll read from her new book, the sun and her flowers, at UDC’s Theater of the Arts. The book is scheduled to go on sale just a week before she reads here. Kaur described the work—on her Instagram, naturally—as a 256-page, “5-part journey through an imagined lifecycle of a plant.” Snippets of the collection can be found there as well.
Tickets to the reading are $10 each, or $20 with a copy of her latest collection. You can purchase them here.