Books

When verse goes viral: 7 Instagram poets with more followers than you

With celebrity endorsements and tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands of followers, young poets are turning Instagram fame into best-selling poetry collections.

With celebrity endorsements and tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands of followers, young poets are turning Instagram fame into best-selling poetry collections. Their audience: millennials with a thirst for poignant, shareable haikus on love, loss and hardship (presented, of course, in an aesthetically-pleasing way). Here are just 7 of Instagram's rising poetry stars.

Are you a poet? Then you should check out the CBC Poetry Prize. Send us your original, unpublished poetry for a chance to win $6,000, have your work published in in Air Canada enRoute magazine and attend 10-day writing residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. We are accepting entries until May 31, so get writing!

1. Rupi Kaur

Brampton, Ont.-based Rupi Kaur is a star among the generation of Instapoets. Her debut self-published collection, Milk and Honey, sold over 15,000 copies, catching the eye of Andrews McMeel Publishing. They recently re-released the collection with a few new poems, and gave hundreds of fans the opportunity to see Kaur at book events in the Greater Toronto Area. Her simple, but powerful prose on love, heartbreak and abuse has netted her over 280,000 followers on Instagram (though she follows no one herself).

2. Mustafa The Poet

Mustafa The Poet has been a well-known member of Toronto's slam poetry scene since he was a kid. He'

s since taken his poetry to the social media masses, where he has over 28,000 Instagram followers and over 6,000 Twitter followers. The poet is best known for his work inspired by growing up in Regent Park, Canada's largest and oldest housing project.

3. Adrian Hendryx

Another Canadian writer, Adrian Hendryx is on several bloggers' lists of Instgram poets to follow. Her fan-base hasn't reached Kaur-proportions (yet), but just over 8,000 followers is an incredibly impressive number nonetheless.

4. Nikita Gill

A poet based in London, England, Nikita Gill describes herself as a "twenty something old forest whose trees whisper in art and written epiphanies." With over 18,000 followers and a glowing endorsement from Buzzfeed, Gill is working on a book called, Your Soul is a River.

5. Samantha Jayne

Samantha Jayne is the Los Angeles poet behind the tongue-in-cheek Instagram account Quarter Life Poetry. In four lines and colourful illustrations, the "reluctant 25-year-old" cheekily pokes fun at the "struggles" of her millennial peers.

6. Tyler Knott Gregson

Tyler Knott Gregson is another member of the Instapoet elite, with over 260,000 followers. According to the New York Times' recent profile on him, the copy-editor-turned-digital-poet's first collection, Chasers of the Light, was a national bestseller with more than 120,000 copies in print. In comparison, Louise Glück's National Book Award-winning poetry collection, Faithful and Virtuous Night, sold around 20,000 copies.

7. Lang Leav

Lang Leav has three international bestselling poetry collections under her belt, thanks to her 132,000 Instagram followers. As she told The Guardian earlier this month, "[It] has gone beyond my wildest dreams."

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