image

Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur is a poet, artist and performer. Over the last three years, her works have taken the literary world by storm. Her new book, the sun and her flowers, an instant global bestseller, is an artistic sibling to her debut, milk and honey, America’s best selling book of 2017.

 

“i am the product of all the ancestors getting together and deciding these stories need to be told”

 

Kaur sees her work as an articulation of this vision. She’s an eternal artist. At the age of five, her mother handed her a paintbrush and said, “draw her heart out”. At 17, she happened upon a local open mic night where she performed her first spoken word poem. She fell in love with performance poetry that night. Kaur continued performing across Canada, while building a community of readers and poetry enthusiasts. While studying at the University of Waterloo, Kaur wrote, illustrated and self-published her first collection, milk and honey. In the years since, milk and honey has become an international phenomenon. It’s sold over 2.5 million copies, been translated into more than 30 languages and landed as a #1 New York Times Bestseller where it continues to sit for over the 80th straight week.

 

“i am the first woman in my lineage with freedom of choice. to craft her future whichever way i choose. say what is on my mind when i want to. without the whip of the lash. there are hundreds of firsts i am thankful for”

 

Kaur explores a variety of themes in her work ranging from love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, migration and revolution. She’s a storyteller and chronicler, a repository of community and history. There’s a simplicity and nuance to her work that has found a home in the hearts of millions. This magic is captured in her stage performances, which are magnetic musical interactions of poetry, art and theatre. Over the last two months, she’s gone from a New York theatrical production of the sun and her flowers to a sold-out North American tour. She’s a Forbes’ 30 under 30, an editor of the 2016 Mays Literary Anthology of New Writing from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and one of BBC’s 100 women of 2017. Kaur hopes to continue her artistic exploration through art and poetry, searching for ways to understand and articulate.

 

i stand

on the sacrifices

of a million women before me thinking

what can i do

to make this mountain taller so the women after me

can see farther

 

– legacy

More speakers