Rupi Kaur is an Indian-Canadian poet, visual artist, and writer, who took the poetry world by storm after her poems which were posted on her social media pages began to go viral. Rupi gained popularity and fame this way and as a result is frequently hailed as the “Queen of Instapoets”, referring to the subset of new-age poets who shunned the age-old book forms in favor of publishing their poems on social media. She is celebrated by millions all over the world, particularly the younger generation, for her piercingly honest and refreshing writings which capture the nuances of women’s experiences, and other daily life considerations in a beautiful and haunting way.
Since coming to the limelight, Rupi has performed her poems at several prestigious events and traveled all over the world to promote and read from her bestselling book of poetry titled Milk and Honey. The book has sold more than 2.5 million copies, catapulting her to global fame and acclaim. She has since further authored a second poetry collection titled The Sun and Her Flowers, which was published in 2017.
Rupi Kaur’s Family Had a Huge Influence On Her Career
Without the love and support of her family, there’s hardly any doubt that Rupi Kaur could not have made it this big. Born on October 4, 1992, in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India, the-then soon-to-be-celebrated theatrical poet moved to Canada with her family when she was only four years old. There, among the mountains of the Great White North, she grew up in the Brampton neighborhoods, where she completed her early education at Turner Fenton Secondary School.
From an early age, Rupi had taken an interest in writing, although drawing was her first love. She shares a very close bond with her mother who first stirred her creative coals in fine art. When she was five years old, living in a new country and learning a new language that wouldn’t stay on her tongue, Rupi’s mother reportedly gave her a paintbrush and told her to draw her heart out, which is what she has spent the last two decades of her life using to spice up her poetry.
It is interesting to note that one of the most distinctive features of her work is that she has a way of achieving a perfect blend between fine art, poetry, and theater. She writes, draws, and performs her poetic messages.
She Originally Posted Her Work Anonymously
Rupi Kaur started writing poetry while in high school and featured prominently in poetry classes at Turner Fenton. But then, she shared her poems anonymously so as not to draw attention to herself. She went ahead and performed publicly for the first time at the Punjabi Community Health Centre located in Malton in 2009 at the age of seventeen but it wasn’t until four years later that she decided to start taking credit for her work.
The young girl later began posting her writings on Tumblr, followed by Instagram in 2014. Her work quickly gained a lot of attention, and her followers grew by hundreds of thousands. She continued sharing her work online and discussing the themes in her poems directly with fans and admirers.
After those early influences, on the able sponsorship from his family, the future Queen of Instapoetry moved on to the University of Waterloo for further studies, graduating with a degree in rhetorics and professional writing. Of course, this has gone a long way in shaping who he has become.
However, she once revealed that, at a time, her family no longer supported the rate at which she pursued her passion. She was in college at the time and was working on her first book while it was time for exams and her family thought she was crazy. Nevertheless, they are now very proud of her.
Rupi Kaur’s Family Influence Remains Evident In Her Work
Rupi Kaur continually endeavors to honor her family’s origin in her work and often draws inspiration from Punjabi culture such as her insistence on writing only in small letters with the period as the only punctuation mark. Her writings are also heavily inspired by her family’s religion – they are Sikhs – and she regularly draws from Sikh scriptures to enrich her work.
How She Moved From a Self-Published Author To The Top of The New York Times Best-Seller List in Three Years
Rupi Kaur was able to gain so much acceptance as a result of her uncanny ability to connect with her audience at a personal level. Not only that people loved her work but, before long, they were asking her how they could go about purchasing her book. Interestingly, she had written no book at the time this was happening. However, this overwhelming interest inspired her to put together her first book, Milk and Honey, which featured her trademark honest poems with handmade drawings.
Initially, Rupi self-published the book on Amazon in 2014, where over 20,000 copies were sold before the paperback edition was published. She says that self-publishing the book was her best decision ever. Once the paperback was published, the book spent over a year on the New York Times Bestsellers List, and her book sales crossed 2.5 million copies. Milk and Honey has been translated into more than 30 languages, spreading Rupi’s popularity and genius even further.
Bolstered by the success of her first work, Rupi Kaur’s second book of poetry, The Sun and Her Flowers, hit the stands on October 3, 2017. The anthology focuses on the themes of loss, healing, migration, trauma, and feminity. It has been successful so far, although it is yet to match the fame of her debut book.
Here she was at NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2018 as she read a poem entitled ‘Timeless’ from The Sun and Her Flowers.
To further boost her importance, Rupi was recently commissioned to write an introduction for a new edition of The Prophet by the famous poet Khalil Gibran. The young poet’s work is obviously influenced by authors like Sharon Olds, Khalil Gibran, Alice Walker, and the works of several scholars as well as Sikh scriptures as earlier mentioned.
How Much Money Has Rupi Kaur Earned From Her Work?
The celebrated poet, writer, and performer has earned a lot of money from her work, mostly through book sales, commissioned projects, and her visual arts. In 2018, she made it to the Forbes’ enviable 30 Under 30 List under the media category. As of 2020, various sources estimate her net worth between 1 and 5 million USD.
However, her net value is expected to increase as her career progresses. Apart from her books, she now also makes films having announced on her website once that she was filming her poetry in Los Angeles. With her 4 million Instagram followers and almost 250,000 on Twitter, there is no doubt that Rupi Kaur has also become a top social media influencer with all the financial and social implications that go with it.