The New Republic has named Rupi Kaur ‘The writer of the decade.’ The Canadian poet published two books: Milk and Honey and  The Sun and her Flowers  in 2015 and 2017  respectively.

Who is Rupi Kaur?

Born in 1992, the Indian born Canadian poet and author Rupi Kaur works on Social media-centred poetry. Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey spent more than a year on The New York Times Best Seller. Milk and Honey was her debut book. She sold over 2.5 million copies of of the book. In 2017, BBC listed Kaur in BBC Women. One of the verses from Milk and Honey are as follows:

We are all born                                                                                                                                                                                        so beautiful                                                                                                                                                                                                the greatest tragedy is                                                                                                                                                                            being convinced we are not

the following verse is from from Milk and Honey too:

there is no bigger illusion in the world                                                                                                                                                 than the idea that a woman                                                                                                                                                                   will bring dishonour into a home                                                                                                                                                         if she tries to keep her heart                                                                                                                                                                  and her body safe

Some takeaways:

  • Indian born Canadian poet and author Rupi Kaur works on social media-centred poetry
  • The New Republic names Rupi Kaur writer of the decade. Kaur used technology as a means to present her poetry which gives her an edge
  • Social media users showed mixed reactions on the news

Her second book was published in 2017, The Sun and Her Flowers is based on themes like feminism, loss, trauma, healing and migration. However, her second book received critical reviews from critics. But Kaur saw a rise in her fame through her Instagram poetry. One of her Instagram poetry posts is given below.

View this post on Instagram

what’s been happening in india over the past few months has been heartbreaking. over 145 days ago kashmir was shut off from the world by the indian government. access to media and information was severely restricted. we have no way of knowing what kind of terror kashmiris are facing on the ground. (in fact, the current 145 day internet shutdown is the longest ever for any democracy!) while the government & national media propagates a massive misinformation campaign – those on the ground including brave activists and journalists have been sharing what’s actually happening inside kashmir. and the truth is terrifying. to make matters worse – the indian gov’t enacted the citizenship amendment act on dec 12. it’s a piece of legislation that discriminates against the country’s muslim community. caa – along with the proposed implementation of the national register of citizens (nrc) and the building of MASSIVE detention centers in the northeast highlight a terrifying repressive trend in the country. in reaction – students and concerned citizens have been on the streets protesting. the gov’t has responded to protesters with violence. internet blackouts. and attacks on their freedom of speech and movement. 25 have been killed with thousands detained over the past 2 weeks. attacks on minorities have been a constant legacy of the indian state. whether on dalits. sikhs. christians. muslims. women. and countless more. the human rights abuses we are seeing now are routine for the state. coming from the sikh community who knows intimately the terrors that are unleashed when the media is either absent or complicit with the actions of the government – i’ve long hoped for much more objective international media coverage of the country. instead – what we’ve seen here again and again is western media parroting propagandized talking points straight from the indian government – while alienating any voices of dissent. as someone who became an immigrant directly because of systemic state sponsored violence in india – i stand with my muslim & kashmiri brothers and sisters throughout the country as they fight for their rights and freedoms. i am with them on their march toward liberty.

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

Read also: Why Should You Know the Pop Poet – Rupi Kaur

The Writer of The Decade

According to Rumaan Alam, a staff writer at The New Republic, “Kaur’s achievement as an artist is the extent to which her work embodies, formally, the technology that defines contemporary life: smartphones and the internet.” Kaur uses technology to present her poetry to the audience. Technology has changed literature. Kaur has used her phone and her sketches to convey her poetry. However, there are many reviewers who say that Kaur’s poetry lacks poetic form and depth.

In a 2017 piece for the Guardian, Priya Khaira-Hanks wrote, “Kaur speaks a truth that the literary establishment is unlikely to understand. To read Kaur’s success as an omen of the death of poetry would be to unfairly dismiss writing that contains bravery, beauty and wisdom.”

Rumaan also says that “I don’t know if we’ll be reading Rupi Kaur a decade or two hence, but I suspect we’ll be reading as she taught us to.”

Read Also: Female Poets Retrace Their Journeys At Hyderabad Women Writers’ Fest

Reaction to this news

One of the users tweeted “I think she deserves to be the artist of the decade.”

Another tweeted “How is Rupi Kaur the writer of the decade all she did was to press enter after writing a sentence and called it poetry.”

Overall her winning the title got mixed reactions on social media.

Read also: Rumi: A Poet Who Saw Divinity’s Reflection In Women

Mansi is an Intern at SheThePeople.TV

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