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From social media star to bestselling writer, the young ‘Instapoet’

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Rupi Kaur’s first book, Milk and Honey, sold 1.4 million copies. Here, she tells how Instagram helped her find her young, female audience

Ordinarily, the illustration adorning the cover of a new book is not a big story, but such is the hype around the young Canadian poet Rupi Kaur that her plan to release the picture to her 1.3 million Instagram followers on 1 June is generating great excitement.

Kaur, 24, came from nowhere to sell 1.4 million copies of her first book, Milk and Honey. That is almost unheard of for a first-time writer, let alone a first-time poet. First self-published in 2014 and then by a publishing house the following year, the poetry collection became a New York Times bestseller. Now Kaur is building up anticipation on social media for her new anthology, which is due out in September. And here, the Observer publishes an exclusive extract.

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