Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there. While it happens to be more visual, poetry still finds its way into the quieter corners of the algorithm. Some of us associate Instagram poetry with cliched one-liners and overrated ideas. However, there are plenty of good poets putting out engaging, uplifting and gorgeous content. The space the platform provides for anyone to publish their work and have a loyal following is remarkable. With over 1 billion monthly active users of Instagram, so much content goes unnoticed. So here’s a list of wonderful poets of color to follow on Instagram in 2021.
Harnidh Kaur is an Indian poet who writes about tenderness, anger, social issues and the people in her life. Her first poem was born out of the need to express her anger and the act led to a better understanding of a lot of emotions. When questioned about the role social media plays in her writing, she answered, “Everybody writes at or to young women, nobody really writes for them. Nobody really talks to them and what social media has done for me is that it allows me to talk to so many young women and that really matters to me.” Her passion, words and stories she posts about baking decadent cakes make her account worth checking out and following.
Books by Harnidh Kaur: The Inability Of Words
Safia Elhillo is a Sudanese Poet who performs spoken word poetry, has published a chapbook, and recently released a verse novel. She has an active presence on Instagram where she posts her work, updates about her life and information about writing workshops she conducts. Her work talks in raw, gorgeous detail about her family, being torn between two lands and her unique experience.
Jamila Woods is a singer, songwriter and poet. She published her chapbook The Truth About Dolls in 2012. Her work has also appeared in anthologies The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015) and Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (2014). She’s also one of the three editors of The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic, an anthology that celebrates Black culture and intersectionality. Her Instagram is filled with dope photoshoots and intriguing poetry.
Jasmin Kaur is a Sikh poet, novelist, illustrator, and educator. Her writing explores feminism, social justice, and love. She has published two verse novels that use poetic elements, prose, dialogue, and illustration to hit home. Her Instagram is filled with gorgeous illustrations, fierce and tender poetry, and pages from her beautiful novels. Follow her Instagram to be educated about Sikh culture and to be in awe with the aesthetics.
Hanif Abrurraqib is a spoken word poet and a cultural critic. He has published poetry chapbooks and books of essays. He has lived in Ohio almost his entire life and the place finds its way into his work. The poet says, “It’s vital for me to track with and build stories around voices here, and people here, and struggles here that are not the struggles that make the news.” His Instagram reflects what he holds dear — reviews about his work, his dog and his hobbies and his space in this world.