Why Every Woman Should Read Rupi Kaur

Ann Marie Akpan, J1 Staff Writer

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“Our backs

Tell stories

No book have

The spine to

Carry.” (Rupi Kaur)

If you don’t know Rupi Kaur, you should.

Rupi Kaur is a number one New York Times best selling author and illustrator of two collections of Poetry, Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers. Growing up, Kaur, wrote verses, prose, and poetry. Erin Spencer, in her article “The poet Every Woman Needs to Read” from the Huffington Post, quotes Kaur, “I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on. Moved by the ability of books to pull one out of their reality and someone else’s.”

Kaur views her life as an exploration of that artistic journey. After completing her degree in rhetoric studies at University of Waterloo she published her first collection of poems,  Milk and Honey in 2014 on Amazon CreateSpace platform. This collection  is the poetry every woman needs by their night stand or coffee table. Why? Because the poems have to do with experiences of today’s modern women, lessons a woman should learn, and teaching versatility and vulnerability.

Kaur’s work teaches versatility because, according to her website rupi kaur.com,  – Kaur’s writing blurs the lines between poetry and prose and her books include illustrations to help understand the story of each piece.  She demonstrates how different pieces can be stitched together to create one unified message. Imagery and her strong writing skills help her create this unique voice, one that  shows all that she can be and all that women can be.

Kaur teaches vulnerability because she writes about being mistreated and harrased. She writes about the difficulties of being a woman of color,  about relationships that break so easily, and pain. However, Kaur finds the beauty and strength in sharing this pain with her readers.

The title of her first book of poetry Milk and Honey refers to sweetness of healing.   According to a Rolling Stone piece by Shannon Carlin, Kaur’s poetry has gotten her more than just likes on social media. Milk and Honey has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide since its 2015 re-release by Andrews McMeel Publishing. In its first week of release, Kaur’s follow-up, The Sun and Her Flowers, was also a huge success. Shannon Carlin’s article for Rolling Stone,  “Meet  Rupi Kaur Queen of instapoets,” revealed this success, noting that Kaur’s title was duking it out for the top spot on Amazon’s best-seller list with Dan Brown’s latest novel.

Kaur’s poetry addresses life’s pain but also emphasizes having the ability to survive it all. Her poetry inspires healing in women, who suffer from life’s trauma. Kaur doesn’t think her poetry is simple. To her, it’s straightforward. “It’s like a peach,” she told Rolling Stone’s Carlin. “You have to remove everything and get to the pit of it..”

Kaur – who moved from Punjab, India to the suburbs of Ontario, Canada, when she was three and a half years old and now lives in Toronto – doesn’t want readers to agonize over each and every word like she did when learning poetry in school.

Kaur told Carlin that she wanted to do something more accessible. “I’ve realized, it’s not the exact content that people connect with,” she said. “People will understand and they’ll feel it because it all just goes back to the human emotion. Sadness looks the same across all cultures, races, and communities. So does happiness and joy.”   

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