Young female poets are attracting fans on social media, helping their poetry book sales to soar. Though not all are successful, Nikita Gill, a former student and part-time child carer, who posts verses online has gathered half a million followers on Instagram and more than 28,000 followers on twitter.
One of the most successful instapoets, Gill grew up in a house full of books. She was born in Belfast, where her father who worked in Merchant Navy was posted, and was taking his captain's exam at the Ulster University. Encouraged to write from a young age, Gill grew up in Delhi, moved to the UK to do a Masters degree in Kent which focused on distraction theory in relation to young people with ADHD, ADD and dyslexia. This led to a desire to work with children with special needs.
In 2015, Gill, who often penned her poetry on old receipts or on restaurant napkins, began posting her work on a Tumblr blog, followed by on Instagram a few months later, and after being profiled in a Buzzfeed article, she gained 15,000 followers. Now celebrities share her work regularly, although Khloé Kardashian once allegedly shared Gill's poem without crediting her.
The Indian-origin writer, whose diary is often filled with speaking engagements, is now among British poets to find fame via social media. According to Gill, online poetry is popular because it is therapeutic in nature. Rupi Kaur, a poet from Canada has similarly bagged 3.5mn followers on instagram.
However not everyone has welcomed the new generation of poets. An essay recently has accused them for 'rejection of craft', as they are allegedly failing to engage with the tradition. However Fiona Sampson, the former editor of Poetry Review defended the millenial wordsmiths as 'exciting'. She added that instagram did not invent bad poetry, as an Editor of a poetry journal she has seen bad in every genre.