Rupi Kaur

I went from girl to woman through milk & honey. Then, writing became a very scary and triggering thing. I couldn’t walk into bookstores. I didn’t want to hear the word poetry — and home body was me trying to write the book I needed to write, because the sun and her flowers was the book that I thought the world wanted me to write.”

-Rupi Kaur, episode 271 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

This week, our guest is poet Rupi Kaur. Ahead of her international tour (4:44), we sat to discuss her childhood in Canada (13:05), how she processes trauma through writing (22:13), her college photo series on menstruation that went viral (23:33), and the self-published poetry collection (milk & honey) that followed (29:20). In the aftermath of this unexpected attention, Rupi speaks candidly on the emotional toll of the last decade (30:43) and how she reckons with her critics today (32:35), before reading a poem written in response to their harassment (41:09).

On the back-half, Rupi describes her powerful connection to her heritage (42:41), understanding her mother’s sacrifices (43:15), which she recounts in Broken English (45:52), and the ways in which her work has evolved (54:08). To close, she performs two personal pieces from home body (56:17) and shares why she’s ready to get back on the stage, doing what she loves to do (58:43).

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Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.

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