Provocative Poet Rupi Kaur

The sexually bold writer doesn't mince words

BY: Claire Connors

Canadian poet, Rupi Kaur, is used to controversy. The instagram-star/poet/artist/performer—with over 1.5 million followers—was already well-regarded and adored for her feminist poetry, but she got seriously famous (or infamous) when she posted photos of herself (taken by her sister) with menstrual blood on her pants and bed. She created the photo essay as a challenge to societal taboos on menstruation. Instagram removed the images, twice, for violating its “community standards.” Kaur fought the site and eventually the images were restored.

In 2014, Kaur, who was born in Punjabi, India and emigrated to Canada, self-published her first book of poetry, milk and honey, on Amazon. Much of her writing—illustrated with her simple drawings—centers around abuse, femininity, love, and heartbreak, topics that resonate with her mostly female audience. Broken into four parts entitled, “the hurting,” “the loving,” “the breaking,” and “the healing,” Kaur designed the entire book herself. It was such a huge success that Andrews McMeel Publishing picked it up for a second print. milk and honey hit the New York Times bestseller list, where it remained for a year, sold over a million copies, and was translated into 30 languages.

Her second collection of poetry, the sun and her flowers, arrives in October. You can read some of her evocative work on her instagram site @rupikaur_ and on her website,