Instagram poets, or "instapoets" as they are sometimes called, have been making big waves in the world of contemporary poetry. Such poets are known for posting full or partial pieces of their writing on Instagram, making use of the visual nature of the platform to share and document their words. Many of these Instagram poets have leveraged the popularity of social media towards literary fame and book deals, but that's not all they've done — these writers have also become activists, celebrities, and figures of inspiration for the thousands of readers with whom they share their work.
Instagram poets are changing the face of modern poetry in fascinating ways, including using technology to make poetry accessible on entirely new levels — all you need to do to read the work of these writers is follow their accounts. So start the new year off right with new creative influences by adding these 9 incredible Instagram poets to your feed.
Inspiring Instagram Poets to Follow ASAP
- Cleo Wade / Instagram Handle: @cleowade: Cleo Wade is an American poet, artist, and speaker living in New York City. In writing about self-love, feminism, community building, and social justice, she has become a powerful force of positivity and creative activism in today's world. In addition to creating art installations, Wade writes for publications such as the The New York Times. Her first book, Heart Talk, was published in 2018.
- Rupi Kaur / Instagram Handle: @rupikaur_: Rupi Kaur is an Indian-born Canadian poet and illustrator whose work has reached international acclaim since she self-published her first book of poems, Milk and Honey, in 2014. Since sharing this collection with the world, Kaur has become a literary icon — she has performed her poetry all around the world, and her second book, The Sun and Her Flowers, was met with global anticipation and extreme success. Kaur's short, direct poems are centered around themes of love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, race, and revolution.
- Atticus / Instagram Handle: @atticuspoetry: Among today's famous Instagram poets, Atticus is one of the most mysterious — this young Canadian writer refuses to reveal his identity, wearing a mask for all publicized pictures and interviews and sharing little by way of biographical background. Despite his private nature, Atticus has gained over 1 million Instagram followers and published two collections of poetry. His poignant poems seek to explore both life's most exhilarating and most relatable experiences.
- Lang Leav / Instagram Handle: @langleav: Lang Leav is an internationally-bestsellng poet and novelist whose themes of love, loss, and female empowerment have drawn thousands of readers and followers to her work. Leav, born in a Thai refugee camp, spent most of her young life in Australia. Leav published her first book of poetry, Love & Misadventure, in 2013 to much acclaim. She has since published five more poetry collections and one novel. In addition to her literary success, Leav is also recognized as a talented artist. Her Instagram account shares excerpts from books as well as updates on her life and career.
- Caroline Kaufman / Instagram Handle: @poeticpoision: Caroline Kaufman is a 19-year-old Instagram poet who began writing poetry at a young age to cope with depression. When Kaufman started sharing her poetry online, she was met with an overwhelming number of readers, fans, and supporters. Kaufman's first book of poetry, Light Filters In, was published in 2018. This work reflects on many of Kaufman's own life experiences and includes popular poems from her account in addition to other material. Kaufman is currently a student at Harvard University.
- Yrsa Daley-Ward / Instagram Handle: @yrsadaleyward: Yrsa Daley-Ward is a British writer, model, and actress of West indian and West African descent. She is known for her spoken-word performances, her first collection of poetry, Bone, and her compelling Instagran presence, which shares her original quotes and poems as well as career updates. In 2018 Daley-Ward published a powerful memoir about her family and childhood.
- Tyler Knott Gregson / Instagram Handle: @tylerknott: Tyler Knott Gregson is an American poet, author, and professoinal photographer whose work has gained him thousands of dedicated followers. Gregson's Instagram account is an artistic mixture of both his poetry and his photography. This balance is mirrored in Gregson's published works, which combine both his written and photographic art — he writes about topics including love, life, mindfulness, and self-expression.
- Nayyirah Waheed / Instagram Handle: @nayyirah.waheed: Little is known about the life and background of Nayyirah Waheed, a successful Instagram poet and published author who writes about love, identity, race, and feminism. Waheed self-published her first book of poetry, salt, in 2013. Her second book, nejma, followed a year later. Waheed's short, powerful poems have become well-known in popular culture in addition to being studied in classrooms and literary circles.
- Nikita Gill / Instagram Handle: @nikita_gill: Nikita Gill is a popular British-Indian poet and author, whose work has been published in books as well as across platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. Gill's first book of poetry, Wild Embers, was published in 2017, followed by three more collections before the end of 2018. Since first sharing her work on social media, Gill has been met with a tremendous following and support - her works center on themes of loss, suffering, migration, and displacement.
Each of these inspiring writers has pushed literary, artistic, and cultural boundaries to share their work with the world in the age of technology and social media. The rise of Instagram poets is a trend that will surely have lasting effects on the history of poetry, literature, and digital art. Read more from these talented poets to find inspiration for Power Poetry's next poetry slam, or submit your own work to our site to share your story and find your place among the great poets of our time.