Feminist poet to release new book next fall

Stephanie Bias, Assistant Culture Editor

Rupi Kaur, author of the best-selling poetry anthology “Milk and Honey,” is in the process of writing and releasing a new book.

In an email sent to fans on Jan. 12, Kaur announced that she recently signed a new book deal with Andrews McMeel Publishing.  Her book will be published in the fall of 2017.

“What that means is I am currently tucked away in a quiet cabin somewhere putting the finishing touches on book two,” Kaur wrote to her fans. “You have graciously championed ‘Milk and Honey.’ It has been given the most generous room to flourish.

But if you allow, I’d love for you to make room for something new.”

Kaur, 24, is a feminist writer, artist and spoken word performer who performs and facilitates writing workshops across the globe. She emigrated from India at the age of four and now resides in Brampton, Ontario with her family.

Drawing inspiration from her mother, Kaur began writing and painting at a young age. She first began publishing her poems on Instagram and Tumblr.

In 2014, Kaur self-published a collection of her poems and drawings. This collection, entitled “Milk and Honey,” then went on to sell over 500,000 copies before she signed with Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Kaur’s poetry and art encompasses a broad range of themes, including feminism, love, loss, abuse, trauma and healing. Kaur expertly uses her experiences with pain to discuss recovery and hope.

I first encountered Kaur’s work in 2015. I was scrolling through Instagram when I stopped at a photo of a woman lying in bed with her face turned to the wall. There were blood stains on her pants and her bed. There was no caption.

Two years later, I learned that the photo was a part of Rupi Kaur’s photo series “Period” where she aimed to dispel the taboos of menstruation. It was later taken down by Instagram for “violating community guidelines.”

After learning more about Kaur, I became interested in her work. I found Kaur’s Instagram account and immediately knew that her poetry was different from any poetry that I had ever read before. Two weeks later, I owned a copy of “Milk and Honey,” read countless articles about Kaur and watched her 20 minute TED talk “I’m taking my body back.”

For the first time in my life, I felt that I could completely relate to an artist. While I have been entranced by Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings, left speechless by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing and felt empowered by Hozier’s music, I have always felt a divide.

There is the artist, there is the art and then there is me.

I do not feel that divide when I read Kaur’s poetry or view her art. I feel that the common experiences of our lives as women tie us together. There is no alternate level that I need ascend to in order to understand her work. She is approachable, honest and genuinely relatable to the women (and men) of our generation.

Her emigration and experiences as a woman inspire me. Her confidence in both her art and her ideals inspire me. Her poetry forces me to reflect on the experiences of my life as a daughter, sister, friend and girlfriend. While these reflections may sometimes be painful, they help me develop a stronger understanding of myself.

While she is still young, I believe that Rupi Kaur will only continue to gain popularity and release revolutionary poetry and art. Perhaps she will be known as the next great poet of our generation.

I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of “Milk and Honey” or follow Kaur’s Instagram account at @rupikaur_. Remember to look for her new book next fall. I have no doubts that her poetry will inspire any reader, regardless of gender, and continue to break all rules of art and life.

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