Most Influential Poets on Instagram

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With the advent of social media, people now have a platform to represent their skills to a larger audience. Gone are the days when writings were limited to a few book readers and an elite class of readers. Today, the internet has made both poetry readers and writers connect over a phone screen. The photo and video-sharing social networking service, Instagram, has provided a platform for netizens to put their poems out and widen their audience base. On the occasion of Poet’s Day, we celebrate the most influential poets on Instagram you must check out. 

Lang Leav

Followers: 541k

“I don’t think all writers are sad, she said. I think it’s the other way around- all sad people write.”- Lang Leav

Born in a refugee camp in Cambodia, Lang Leav’s family later moved to Australia. She attended the College of Fine Arts in Sydney. She started posting her poetry on Tumblr in 2012 and became hugely popular. The major themes include love, heartache, grief etc. She was greatly inspired by Emily Dickson. In 2013 she self-published her first collection of poetry and prose titled Love and Misadventure. This book sold 150,000 copies and was ranked top on Amazon. The booming success of this poet is largely due to the Instagram poetry she started with and thus, deserved a mention in the list. Her poetry collection “Lullabies’ also won the Goodreads Choice Award in the category of Best Poetry. The list of her bestselling collections is mentioned below.

Poetry and Prose Collection: 

  • Love and Misadventure (2013)
  • Lullabies (2014) 
  • Memories (2015)
  • The Universe of Us (2016)
  • Sea of Strangers (2018)
  • Love Looks Pretty on You (2019)
  • September Love (2020)
  • Anthology of Love (2017)
  • Sad Girls (2017)
  • Poemsia (2019)
  • Sad Girls (2017)
  • Poemsia (2019)

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Cleo Wade

Followers: 753k

“Mantra for anxiety: This is not you. This is something moving through you. It can leave out of the same door it came in.” ― Cleo Wade

Titled as ‘the Millennial Oprah,” Cleo Wade grew up in New Orleans and fell in love with writing at a very young age. Her love for poetry and her deep interest in activism gained popularity and recognition through Instagram. She has been a famous face in several magazines and publications like Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, People magazine, The New York Times, Vogue. In 2017, Wade delivered a TED talk entitled “Want to change the world? Start by being brave enough to care”.  From Billboards to Gucci advertisements to Nike sneakers, her words have flowed across the world.

Books and Poetry

  • The New York Times published her poem in an opinion section, “How Are You Showing Up This Year” (2018)
  • Teen Vogue starred her piece entitled “If I Could Write One Million Love Poems (A Love Letter To Trans Kids)” 
  • W magazine has published her poems and articles as well like”Who Are We Right Now”, “An Open Letter to My Dearest America” etc.
  • Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life(2018)
  • Where to Begin: A Small Book About Your Power to Create Big Change in Our Crazy World. (2019)
  • Heart Talk: The Journal, 52 weeks of self-love, self-care, and self-discoverY (2020)
  • What the Road Said (2021) 

Public art Installations

She is also an artist and has installed several art pieces. 

  • “Respect”, a love poem extending 25 feet and “She” a permanent instalment on a 50-foot warehouse building in the New Orleans 
  • Wade created “ARE YOU OK” at the Hester Street Fair in New York City, 
  • “Show Love Spread Love” on the facade of the Beverly Center In Los Angeles
  • Her art installations have also been in Times Square and Toronto.

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Rupi Kaur 

Followers: 4.3m 

“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you” ― Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

Our list of writers on poet’s day is absolutely incomplete without the mention of the most infamous Instagram poet, Rupi Kaur.  She is an Indian born Canadian poet, illustrator and photographer has equally received fame and love from fans as well as criticism through parody and harassment from trolls. She has been accused of plagiarism and her poetry has been labelled as not real literature. 

Nevertheless, her three collections of poetry were huge commercial successes. Her posts that include short poetry and line drawings are widely shared among netizens. In 2017, BBC and Vogue listed Kaur in their lists of women of the year. Quill & Quire chose The Sun and Her Flowers for their annual list of the best books. She was included on Forbes and Elle’s complementary lists of emerging artists and also had a live performance in 2021. (Rupi Kaur Live) The New Republic controversially called her the “Writer of the Decade.” 

Poetry Collection  

  • Milk and Honey (2014) 
  • The Sun and Her Flowers (2017) 
  • Home Body (2020) 

Articles 

“History shows Punjab has always taken on tyrants. Modi is no different”. The Washington Post. 16 December 2020. 

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Atticus 

Followers: 1.6m

“We are made of all those who have built and broken us.” ― Atticus Poetry, Love Her Wild

Poet’s day might be incomplete without mentioning one of the famous poets on Instagram, Duncan Penn. Famous by the name Atticus, he is a Canadian poet and is famous not only among poetry lovers but even among renowned celebrities. Atticus began sharing poetry online in 2013. His subsequent fame made his books instant New York Times’ bestsellers. He has used his poetry and international reach to support various NGOs as well. He works with the nonprofit To Write Love On Her Arms in support of mental health services and awareness. Atticus partnered with UNICEF on World Poetry Day for the ‘Poems for Peace’ initiative. In 2016. He was named the #1 Poet To Follow by Teen Vogue.

Poetry Collection 

  • Love Her Wild(2016)
  • The Dark Between Stars (2108)
  • The Truth About Magic  (2019)

Performances

  • Live poetry performance at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles (2017)]
  • Worked with author Margaret Atwood (2021)
  • Atticus partnered with Winc to create Lost Poet Wine

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Tyler Knott Gregson

Followers: 351k

“Oh what we could be if we stopped carrying the remains of who we were.” ― Tyler Knott Gregson

Tyler is an infamous poet, best-selling author and professional photographer from Helena, Montana. Since 2009, Tyler has been very consistent with her poems on social media including Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter. His accrued fame has been due to the infamous ‘Typewriter Series.’ The series became such a success that it was compiled into ‘Chasers of the Light’ in 2014. It sold 120,000 copies and became the top 10 bestsellers of non-fiction within its second week of publication, according to the Wall Street Journal. He has used his writing for noble causes. Gregson donated $2 of the sales for every pre-ordered book of Chasers of the Light to the TWLOHA suicide prevention organization.

Poetry collection

  • Chasers of the Light. Perigee Books. 2014
  • All the Words Are Yours. Perigee Books. 2015
  • North Pole Ninjas: Mission: Christmas!. Grosset & Dunlap. 2016
  • Wildly into the Dark. Perigee Books. 2017
  • Miracle in the Mundane. Perigee Books. 2019

Nikita Gill

Followers: 628k

“And you say you are broken, but broken mirrors like you create the most beautiful patterns of light.” ― Nikita Gill

Another unique writer whose work can be read on poets day is Nikita Gill. She is an Indian poet and writer who had her first publication while she was just 12 years old. She studied Design in New Delhi, and later, went to England to complete a master’s degree at the University for the Creative Arts. Her work was recognised among the masses because of her social media presence and posts. Hugely inspired by Sylvia Plath, Dr Maya Angelou and Robert Frost, her work offers reflections on love and feminist retellings of fairytales and Greek myths. She is an ambassador for National Poetry Day. She wrote and performed her debut work for the stage, Maidens, Myths, and Monsters. Gill regularly appears on the BBC, contributing to Woman’s Hour on Radio Four, Free Thinking on Radio Three, and BBC Asian Network.

Poetry Collection

  • Your Soul Is A River (2016)
  • Wild Embers: Poems of rebellion, fire and beauty (2017)
  • Fierce Fairy Tales: & Other Stories to Stir Your Soul (2018)
  • Great Goddesses: Life lessons from myths and monsters (2019)
  • Your Heart Is The Sea (2019)
  • The Girl and the Goddess (2020)
  • Where Hope comes from (2021)

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Amanda Lovelace

Followers: 97.5k

“When you’re taught to see the world through fire, nothing looks safe.” ― Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in This One

This Poet’s day, let’s look at the work of another self-published poet-writer, Amanda Lovelace. She completed her education at Kean University. She self-published her first work, the princess saves herself in this one, with CreateSpace in 2016. However, it became a major hit and caught the attention of the American publisher Andrews McCeel, who published her subsequent works as well. She has won Goodreads Choice Awards for two of her poetries. This best selling American poet largely owes her fame and popularity to Tumblr and Instagram. Amanda has rejected the title of ‘instapoet’ and sees it as a way to set them apart from ‘real poets.’

Poetry Series:

Women Are Some Kind of Magic 

  • The princess saves herself in this one (2016) 
  • The witch doesn’t burn in this one (2018) 
  • The mermaid’s voice returns in this one (2019) 
  • Slay those dragons: a journal for writing your own story (2019) 

The Things that H(a)unt 

  • To make monsters out of girls (2018) 
  • To drink coffee with a ghost (2019) 

You Are Your Own Fairy Tale 

  • Break your glass slippers (2020) 
  • Shine your icy crown (2021) 

Nayyirah Waheed

Followers: 559k

“I don’t pay attention to the world ending. It has ended for me many times and began again in the morning.” ― Nayyirah Waheed, Salt

Exploring themes like race, identity, love, Nayyirah Waheed is regarded as the most famous poet on Instagram whose work deserves to be read on poets day. Posts about her poetry are widely shared on the platform. Being minimalistic and extremely touching, her writing style has been appreciated by the audience across the globe. Inspired by the writings and use of imagery by Sonia Sanchez and  Maya Angelou, her poetry also challenges, breaks and asks readers to reevaluate themselves. Popularly quoted by celebrities, her work has also been highlighted in magazines like Vibe, Essence, W Magazine, Teen Vogue, The Guardian, and the New York Daily News. 

Poetry Collections

  • Salt (2013)
  • Nejma (2015)

All these Instagram poets have expanded their careers from just Instagram posts, venturing into the field of writing books, activism etc. This poet’s day, make sure to check their work and gain inspiration! If you’re a budding writer or poet who wants some career advice then our Leverage Edu experts are just a call or text away. Take a step closer to your dreams now!

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