A friend who is not a poet or a poetry reader asked me what I thought of the poet Rupi Kaur. I said I had never heard of her/him. She said she was surprised. "I saw her on TV and she has sold millions of books and hits the New York Times best-seller list."
I had to find out more.
Rupi Kaur is an Indian-born Canadian poet, illustrator, photographer, and author. Born in Punjab, India, Kaur immigrated to Canada at a young age with her family. She is 29.
After completing her degree in rhetoric studies she self-published her first collection of poems milk and honey in 2014 and it sold more two million copies and was on the NYT's bestseller list every week for over a year. It has been translated into over thirty languages. Her second collection the sun and her flowers was published in 2017 and debuted as a #1 NYT bestseller.
Bestsellers and poetry are not usually connected. Fame for poets can be both a plus and a minus. Popular poets are often dismissed as less than serious writers.
Her poetry has been described as "bite-size, accessible poems. Their free verse poetry eschews difficult metaphors in favor of clear, plain language."
On Wikipedia: "Her popularity has been compared to that of a popstar and Kaur has been praised for influencing the modern literary scene, although Kaur's poetry has had mixed critical reception and been subject to frequent parody; she has been dogged by claims of plagiarism by fellow "Instapoets" and harassment by internet trolls. Kaur has been included on congratulatory year-end lists by the BBC and Elle; The New Republic controversially called her the "Writer of the Decade"."