Best-Selling Author and Illustrator

Rupi Kaur profile picture
Rupi Kaur was born into a Sikh family in Punjab, India, who emigrated to Canada and then resided in Brampton. She attended Turner Fenton Secondary School and studied at the University of Waterloo where she created one of her more notable works: a photo-essay on menstruation, described as a piece of visual poetry intended to challenge prevalent societal menstrual taboos.

Her first performance took place in 2009 in the basement of the Punjabi Community Health Centre, and in reference to her upbringing, Kaur often hails performing in Brampton as a homecoming. 

"Standing inside a circle of flower petals, Kaur performed a generous selection of poems from her second collection, the sun and her flowers, a mainstay of bestseller lists since its publication in October 2017. Her 90-minute set also included material from its predecessor, milk and honey, which has sold more than three million copies. The homecoming was triumphal for both Kaur and Brampton, her first GTA date since the book’s commercial explosion."

Read full article by Tajja Isen on the The Globe and Mail

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Rupi Kaur is a poet, artist, and performer. Over the last 3 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"

Rupi sees her work as an articulation of this vision. She’s an eternal artist. At the age of 5, 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. Rupi continued performing across Canada, while building a community of readers and poetry enthusiasts. While studying at the University of Waterloo, Rupi 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"

Rupi 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 2 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. Rupi 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