These are the top 25 Instagram poetry accounts as of February 2021:
Its been a little over a decade since Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released Instagram into the wild. Initially pegged as a photo-sharing application, the platform has morphed into a cultural and financial phenomenon, tapping into virtually every industry under the Sun! Let’s look at how the world’s poets have leveraged the platform to promote their work and drive conversations.
Some of these Instagram poetry accounts specialise in inspirational quotes, and others are full-fledged publishing organisations but I am most interested in the individual writers who have managed to harness social media’s power to change their lives’ trajectory and skyrocket their careers to astronomical heights.
You may be following some, and others may have slipped past your radar. PS: This is a follow-up to a previous article discussing how poets make money on Instagram.
1. Word Porn
You’ve probably heard of Word Porn; They are currently the most recognisable Instagram Poetry Account whose sole purpose is to share literary content from all sorts of genres dealing with creative writing. Genres such as novella, historic literary quotes, graphic novels, hip hop lyrics and more. Their Facebook page is currently sitting on a whopping 14.3 million likes!
2. Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur is an Indian-born Canadian poet, illustrator, and author. She rose to fame on Instagram and other social platforms like Tumblr through sharing her short visual poetry. Her work examines relationships, the immigrant struggle, and sexual trauma. Many consider her to be at the forefront of Instapoetry.
According to Forbes, Kaur’s debut poetry collection, Milk and Honey, sold over 2.5 million copies in 25 languages and spent 77 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list! She has since published other books like The Sun And Her Flowers and Home Body, all available on Amazon. You can also purchase her collection as a boxset.
3. Amanda Gorman
Amanda Gorman is an American poet and activist. Her work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, marginalisation, and the African diaspora. She published the poetry book The One For Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015.
Gorman’s 2021 Presidential Inauguration poem The Hill We Climb catapulted her to international stardom earning her a professional management contract and two New York Times bestseller nods of her previous books.
At the rate she is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if her Instagram poetry account tops this list in the months to come. She currently has two books available on Amazon; The Hill We Climb And Other Poems and Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem.
4. Poets Of Instagram
The Poets Of Instagram page shares interesting poetry quotes across their social media platforms and prints them on shirts. Other similar Instagram poetry accounts like @poemsvibe, @thedeepestmessages, @poemxheaven, @artofpoets, @poets.and.writers, and @poetstribe do more or less the same thing and, therefore, will not be included in this list.
Most of them offer paid promotions to writers and brands looking to reach new audiences.
Robert M. Drake is a New York Times Bestselling Author and self-published poet from Miami, Florida. After joining Instagram in 2012, Drake would type his poetry on his antique typewriter and handmade paper before photographing and uploading the image on his social media channels.
He also made stencils of some of his poems and used them to spraypaint his poetry around his city sidewalks, and people started to notice. In August 2014, he published his debut collection, Beautiful Chaos, which quickly rose Amazon’s bestseller chart, and he decided to quit his job to pursue writing full-time.
Reuben Holmes is a New York Times Best-Selling Author from New Jersey. He started writing epigrams and short satirical poems across his social media platforms and taught himself to condense his poetry into the 140 characters invoked by Twitter.
Holmes wrote his first book, Whiskey Words & A Shovel, in 2015. The sequels, Whiskey Words & A Shovel 2 and 3, followed in 2017 and 2018. He also wrote many others like Rest In The Mourning in 2016, Algedonic in 2017, Planting Gardens in Graves in 2018 and, Empty Bottles Full of Stories in 2019.
7. Morgan Harper Nichols
Morgan Harper Nichols is an artist based in Arizona. Morgan spent the first couple of years of her professional life as a college admission counsellor before transitioning to music full-time.
In 2017, Morgan started a project where she invites people to submit their stories to her website. From there, she creates art as a response to their stories and sends it to them before sharing the work publicly. Her books of poetry and art, All Along You Were Blooming, and How Far You Have Come are available on Amazon.
Atticus is an anonymous New York Times Best-selling author of Love Her Wild, The Dark Between Stars, and The Truth About Magic. According to his website, his writing journey started when someone he knew died in a hotel room in Vancouver. He was then encouraged to write poetry by a ‘whiskey-drinking, motorcycle-riding badass’ on a trip to France.
He decided to retain an alias because, according to him, “ fame gives you everything you want in life. On the other hand, it takes away everything you need.”
Bianca aims to write honestly about the beauty that arises from the contrasts of life. From love and loss to joy and regret, she has dedicated herself to turning the human condition into poetry.
10. Cleo Wade
Cleo Wade is an American poet, author and activist. Her writing speaks to a more prominent future for all women, people of colour, and the LGBTQ community, preaching love, acceptance, justice, peace, equity and equality. The artist has published four books, including Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life, Heart Talk: The Journal, Where to Begin and What The Road Said. These books are all available on Amazon.
11. Beau Taplin
Beau Christopher Taplin is an internationally recognised author and poet. Beau’s first collection of poems was self-published with a limited release of 300 copies. He promoted the book across his social media platforms, and they sold out in an evening. Ever since then, writing has become his sole focus.
Beau’s writing style is to develop personal, relatable content by dissecting human stories to capture the essence of sometimes just a singular emotion.
12. J Iron Word
J Iron Word takes thoughts, emotions and feelings we as humans feel but often find difficulty expressing and skillfully puts them into words. The American author has published three books on amazon; She Is Me, Live Loud, Love Loud and Abstract Heart.
Before writing, Iron Word lived a regular life, became a father and had a career until he discovered an innate ability to convey thoughts and emotions eloquently.
13. Nikita Gill
Nikita Gill is a poet and writer. Gill grew up in Gurugram, Haryana, in India. In her mid-twenties, she immigrated to the South of England and worked as a carer for many years. The poet has now written and curated ten volumes of poetry and is an ambassador for National Poetry Day.
Gill regularly appears on the BBC, contributing to Woman’s Hour on Radio Four, Free Thinking on Radio Three, and BBC Asian Network.
14. J.M Storm
15. Faraway Poetry
16. Nayirah Waheed
Nayyirah Waheed is a poet and author who has published two books, Salt and Nejma. Waheed began writing at eleven after her English teacher prompted her to write a poem for the community newspaper. She lives a very secretive life and doesn’t share much about her life online, which is why she describes herself as the “quiet poet”.
17. Lang Leav
Lang Leav is a poet and novelist born in a refugee camp when her family fled the Khmer Rouge Regime. In 2013, she published her first book, Love & Misadventure, and it was a breakout success! Her subsequent poetry books have all been international bestsellers.
She currently resides in New Zealand with her partner and fellow author, Michael Faudet.
18. Samantha King Holmes
Samantha King Holmes has been writing since the age of 11. She is a bestselling author, photographer and wife of Reuben Holmes, also known as r.h. Sin. In 2016, the Queens native released her debut poetry collection Born to Love, Cursed to Feel, and it was a runaway success. Holmes released We Hope This Reaches You In Time with her husband to critical acclaim.
19. Button Poetry
Button Poetry is the largest Provider of Spoken Word, Performance, & Slam Poetry Media. The organisation was founded in 2011 by Sam Cook and Sierra DeMulder. They hosted their first recording party to produce Button Poetry: Volume One, the first of many.
They rebranded in 2012 with a stronger focus on video and social media. Under this new direction, Button launched several new projects, including the Button Tumblr and Button Youtube. They now have a booming store with ebooks, audiobooks, merchandise, books and more.
20. Wilder Poetry
21. Mark Anthony
Mark Anthony is the pseudonym of a bestselling poet from Washington, USA. He prefers to stay anonymous because he is more interested in promoting his work than promoting his image. Anthony likes to write poetry that is motivating, inspirational, and passionate because life can be difficult. He currently has seven books for sale on Amazon.
22. Christopher Poindexter
Christopher Poindexter is a bohemian poet and aspiring musician currently residing in Florida, USA. He started writing poetry while on a rebellious trip to California when he was 18. He is the founder of Jack Wild Publishing and currently has a trio of poetry books; Lavender, Naked Human and Old Soul Love.
The books are also available as a collection. Poindexter also sells hand-typed poetry from his typewriter in addition to custom poetry that is hand-signed as well.
23. Tyler Knott
Tyler Knott Gregson is a poet, best-selling author and professional photographer based in Helena, Montana. He is one of the early adopters of Instapoetry, having joined platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter back in 2009.
24. Maryam Hasnaa
Maryam Hasnaa’s parents are both spiritual teachers. She is an initiated Priestess who has found her calling teaching others how to embody their higher selves and live their soul’s purpose.
25. Rudy Francisco
Rudy Fransisco is an American spoken-word poet and author based in San Diago, California. Francisco became more involved with spoken word after he watched Def Poetry Jam on HBO. He has since won several poetry slams and has written five books. He describes himself as an amalgamation of social critique, introspection, honesty and humour.
These 25 Instagram poetry accounts combine for a whopping 31 Million followers! I have always been fascinated by poetry’s resilience, always forging a way to leave its mark through every medium in human history. From recitals and song to newspapers, paperback, magazine, audio, television and now: the digital revolution…
Poetry is relentless in its neverending mission to heal us. With the rise of social media, just like clockwork, the literates have, once again, found a way to cement their place in the pages of history.
Shameless Plug: Pick Me Up Poetry
About The Author
Webster is the founder and managing director at Pick Me Up Poetry. His creative journey began at an early age as an aspiring musician, and by 2013, he was the arts & culture facilitator for the University of Johannesburg. He is currently pursuing a Business Management degree with The University of South Africa and aspires to make PMUP a household name by 2025.