“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).
To submit a question, comment, or reflection for our mailbag episode, write us at email@example.com.
- Purchase tickets to the Rupi Kaur World Tour.
- Order her poetry collections: milk & honey, the sun and her flowers, and home body.
- Follow Rupi on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- For similar conversations, visit our recommended talks with Ocean Vuong, Jhumpa Lahiri, Margaret Atwood, Nikki Giovanni, Poorna Jagannathan, Claudia Rankine, George Saunders, Elizabeth Gilbert, Roxane Gay, Gloria Steinem, and Morgan Parker.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.