A visit from the often controversial poetry sensation. Info/tix
Rupi Kaur is a Toronto-based New York Times bestselling poet, writer, and illustrator who works to make poetry seep into the mainstream. She comes to the Wisconsin Union Theater to for a talk and reading as a part of her “america tour.” Kaur gained popularity around 2013 through social media channels like Tumblr and Instagram, with poignant poems that she often pairs with her own illustrations. While she has encountered some backlash from the boring, self-involved elites of poetry, her work is showing a new generation of people the power of poetry and the accessibility of language through technology.
After Kaur gained hoard of followers online, she branched out into print in with the publication of milk and honey in 2015, which has sold over 2.5 million copies. milk and honey focuses on themes of love, trauma, abuse, and feminism. After her resounding success, the poet Nayyirah Waheed accused Kaur of plagiarizing her work. Striking similarities appear between the two poets' use of short line breaks, punctuation, and illustrations, but Kaur has brushed off these claims, telling Vice that plagiarism is a "loaded word." Other critiques of Kaur’s poetry focus on how the brevity of her work does a disservice to trauma and the experiences of South Asian women. Kaur released her second book, The sun and her flowers. last year. While critiques of her work continue to roll in, those that focus only on the her use of Instagram as a medium should keep scrolling. —John McCracken