Tag: internet poetry

Yrsa Daley-Ward

This Instapoet Just Published the Most Breathtaking Memoir!

Yrsa Daley-Ward was born in 1989 in Northern England and, at just twenty-nine years old, has already published two full-length works and gained 136K followers on Instagram. She is arguably one of the most famed and renowned Instapoets of the modern age, what with her posts gaining more than eight-thousand likes. Read her compelling poem Mental Health here.



However, Daley-Ward wasn’t always the well-known force of literature that she is today; her upbringing was a darkly complicated, messy, and difficult one. She was raised alongside her younger brother by their single mother and her eccentric, toxic partner before they were eventually sent to live with their incredibly religious, strict, and domineering grandparents.



As soon as she finished high-school, Daley-Ward made the decision to skip out on college, leave her grandparents home behind, and move to Manchester, before eventually moving to London. Now, finally out of her strict, conservative upbringing, she began to really see herself and understand her body and the power her sexuality could hold. She began pursuing modeling; struggling for years to make ends meet. She took up work as an escort and an exotic dancer before eventually deciding to leave England behind and move to Cape Town, South Africa.



The thing that attracted me to South Africa was that the models look like me and there’s so much more diversity.



Cape Town turned out to be the place Daley-Ward would rediscover her love of words, writing, and poetry. She’d originally begun submitting her poems to literary journals at the age of seventeen but found herself feeling rejected and discouraged, so she spent the following years focusing on modeling; pushing away the burning need to express that was boiling up inside of her.




Yrsa Daley-Ward

Image Via Sleek Magazine



Not long after her arrival to South Africa, Daley-Ward happened upon a bar hosting a spoken word open mic night and decided to take the opportunity to finally share the words she’d been filing away in journals and notebooks for years and years; bringing them out into the world.


She began posting her short, concise-yet-cutting poems on Instagram, quickly gaining a cult-like following (including stars like Florence Welch and Ellen Page). In 2014, she released bone; a collection of poems detailing themes of sexuality, addiction, mental health, and more written during a three-month period. Her works are small yet so, incredibly impactful. She manages to define moments, emotions, and the darkest parts of herself within the confines of one or two sentences.



She is raw, brutally honest, and relatable in so many ways. And, lucky for us, she has just penned and released a new full-length memoir that’s a uniquely stunning blend of prose and verse entitled The Terrible.




The Terrible

Image Via Amazon



I am somewhere else now. I am part human, part metaphysics, and I still haven’t worked out which parts of me are which. I love this new form. I can feel space traveling through me. I am porous and wondrous and bold…It’s not that I loved to leave, rather that staying was always completely impossible.



The Terrible is a coming-of-age tale detailing the struggles of a young Yrsa Daley-Ward as she pushes on through familial dysfunction, drug abuse, sex work, modeling, and mental illness. The memoir shows Daley-Ward growing, shifting, and transforming throughout her life until she eventually becomes the strong, powerful, poetic powerhouse she is today.



The book is brutally honest, so completely, vulnerably human, and not something you’d want to miss!



Time is an illusion, say the scientists. It is molecular, it is bendable or liquid, it is soldered metal; or it is droplets of memory. I imagine it looks like mercury, silver and elusive…Burn all the clocks. I am free.




Featured Image via The Irish Times


We Should All Thank Instagram For Revamping Poetry

Instagram is good at many things, including hours and hours of cute dog videos and making people care about CGI influencersInstagram is also home to many under-the-radar poets who publish their newest work daily to millions of followers. 


The perfect culmination of typography, immediate shareability, and quotes makes poetry and Instagram the perfect match. One of the most recognizable poets who got her start on Instagram is Rupi Kaur.




A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on


Following her smashing success of her 2016 release, Milk and Honey, and her newest collection, The Sun and Her Flowers, Instagram poetry or Insta-poetry has never been more popular. 


A National Endowment for the Arts survey released in 2015 revealed that the number of Americans who had read at least one poem in the past year had declined 45% between 2002 and 2012 to a dismal 6.7% of the population, making it one of America’s least common activities. Considering the sales of Kaur’s books and her prevalence on social media over the past few years, the number of Americans who read poetry must have significantly climbed. 


The last time that poetry got such a righteous resurgence was in the 1960’s when singer-songwriter Rod McKuen sold millions of poetry books with similar composition to Kaur’s and other Instagram poets. The poetry being published on the platform is short, typically written in an old typewriter font or Times New Roman.



Alongside Kaur, some other popular Instagram poets who have been shared by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Karlie Kloss include r.h.sinAtticus, and nikita_gill



every book i’ve ever written is now available on Amazon | link in bio

A post shared by r.h. Sin (@r.h.sin) on


Instagram has not only become a platform for sharing poetry, but has also allowed smaller poets to publish books of their work, spreading their art to bookstores across the nation. Following in the self-published steps of Rupi Kaur, Instagram poets like r.h. Sin and Amanda Lovelace have had their work picked up by Andrews McMeel Publishing, making their poetry even more widespread. 


Featured image via Wcctech

Olivia Gatwood reading on-stage

Olivia Gatwood: The 26-Year-Old Poet You Should Be Watching

Olivia Gatwood was born February 23, 1992 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And, in her short twenty-six years on this planet, this woman has taken no small-steps toward proving her brilliance, strength, resilience, and power.


At just sixteen, Gatwood led twenty other women in a class-action sexual harassment lawsuit against their boss at a local bakery. She now works as a Title IX Compliant (a federal law that states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.“) and runs community-building workshops on sexual assault prevention and recovery.


Gatwood has gained international acclaim for her poetry, which illuminates the power and vitality of girlhood, adolescence, and growth. She has been featured on HBO, VH1, BBC, MTV, Huffington Post and more. Not to mention, she has been a finalist for the National Poetry Slam, Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS), and Brave New Voices.


In 2017, Gatwood released a collection of poems titled NEW AMERICAN BEST FRIEND and to-date has sold more than 200,000 copies. The book, an anthology of exposed vulnerabilities and gut-punching personal encounters, takes it reader into the mind and heart of teendom and girlhood. It is funny, heartbreaking, raw, gritty, and relatable in the most human of ways. Thought Catalog called it, “The book I wish I had as a teenage girl.”


Her new collection, WHO ARE YOU ALWAYS DRESSING UP FOR?, is set to release in 2019. 


Check out some of Gatwood’s work below:



One more thing when they call you a bitch, say thank you. Say thank you, very much.



Featured Image via Button Poetry

Rainy days and books

7 Quotes from Modern Poets For When You’ve Got the Sads

Poetry is one of the oldest forms of writing in existence. It has been the go-to for both writers and avid-readers in need of a way to express themselves, clear their heads, and share thoughts that can’t always be easy to share since the beginning of time, and, with such a rise in modern poets hitting the big time and making waves in the press, it’s right now as popular and relevant as ever. Yay, poets! Yay, poems! Yay, poetry!


Here are seven of my favorite quotes from modern poets for the days when you’re feeling down and need a little help getting back on your feet:



“We are more than the worst thing that’s ever happened to us. All of us need to stop apologizing, for having been to hell and come back breathing.”

—Clementine von RadicsBroken (buy Dream Girl now)



“let me say right now for the record,

I’m still gonna be here

asking this world to dance,

even if it keeps stepping on my holy feet.

You, you stay here with me, okay?

You stay here with me”

—Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase (buy HEY GALAXY now)



“I want to live so densely. lush. and slow in the next few years, that a year becomes ten years, and my past becomes only a page in the book of my life.”

—Nayyirah Waheed, salt. (buy salt. now)



“When I meet you, in that moment, I’m no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. 

—Sarah Kay, Hiroshima (buy All Our Wild Wonder now)



“time never stops, but does it end? and how many lives

before take-off, before we find outselves

beyond ourselves, all glam-glow, all twinkle and gold?”

—Tracy K. Smith, Life on Mars (buy Wade in the Water: Poems now)



“You will come away bruised.

You will come away bruised

but this will give you poetry.”

—Yrsa Daley-Ward, Bone (buy The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir now)



“And I say:

“Okay, so maybe I don’t fear the sky

Maybe I fear the alone my body will feel when the sky decides to let me go”

And she takes her hand off my chest,

holds it up against the window, pushes it real deep

And she says:

“Look at this. Look at this, child.

From up here, everything pure and white

Is magnificent and unbreakable and holy

From up here, we all have such amazing bones”

—Hanif Abdurraqib, Dig those sunsets, pony (buy They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us now)




                                      via GIPHY



Feature Image via Layla Eats Books For Breakfast


Close up of laptop with stickers.

For When You Aren’t Obsessively Checking Bookstr, Here Are Some Other Sites

We, in the online bookish community, love learning about new books, sharing about old books, and even just reading about reading.


Obviously, Bookstr is actually the number one on this list of websites for bookworms, but these are the other websites that equally all tie for second place that every bookworm should check out (after, of course, they have finished reading all our articles.)




GoodReads logo

via Goodreads


Essentially the Facebook of books, without the annoying click bait articles or ads, this website lets you add your friends, review books, and see what they are reading or reviewing. You can join lists, browse quotes, or join challenges to get you to read more.




Book Riot logo


via BookRiot


Need a podcast? They got ‘em. Need articles? They got ‘em. Need videos? They got ‘em. This expansive brand covers all of the bases of literary fandom.


3: AM Magazine


3am logo


via 3: AM


 “Whatever it is, we’re against it,” is this site’s headline. Named for a time that has been seen on all of our computer monitors when we surf the web shamefully late into the night. Finding this website might actually extend that time to 4 or 5 AM for its quality content, covering fiction, poetry, essays, and interviews.


The Rumpus


The Rumpus logo


via The Rumpus


An adorable website, which houses its own original fiction and poetry, The Rumpus is excellent. They cover all sorts of topics other than books, like sex, music, TV, politics, and you can even send into an advice column called “Dear Sugar.”


Electric Literature


electric lit logo


via Washington Post


Electric Lit is probably the only website with content featured under a “Scuttle Butt” option. Check out their recommended readings to find your next book, or “okey-panky” to see submissions.




Bookish logo


via Bookish


This website is incredibly user-friendly for book browsers, as you can search through their archives like you would search through genres. Join a giveaway, read an article, or find all the hot new releases.


Largehearted Boy


Largehearted Boy logo


via Largehearted Boy


Perhaps more enchanting for its simplistic spread or its charming title, this website is so endearing. Combine your love of books and music here by listening to the carefully selected playlists for the books he reads.


Public Domain Review


The Public Domain Review logo


via The Public Domain Review


Beautifully decorated with public domain images, this website gives articles with in depth research over diverse subjects, like a book of ripple designs and the history of ink. With the images, this website somehow feels like an old-timey library from a steampunk universe.




Hazlitt Logo



Done by Penguin Random House, this website is a very polished look into the literary world. You can go directly from an article to the link to buy from their website, which is great for immediate satisfaction.


The Nervous Breakdown


The nervous breakdown logo


In convenient short segments, this website features a lot of poetry. This is a great to add to a weekly routine.


The New Yorker’s Page Turner


Page Turner Logo


via Page Turner


Known as “the best of the best,” this literary mag has a section just online. It’s tagline is “Criticism, contentions, and conversation inspired by books and the writing life.” Art shapes the world around us and is shaped by the world around us. This is a place where that is the main operative.


Literary Hub


Literary Hub logo


via FlavorWire


With postings daily, this site asks big questions that some readers might not even think when reading. For writers and readers alike, the insight is unparalleled by some other literary websites.


LA Review of Books


LARB logo


via LARB


Join a book club with all of LA… Or at least the parts of LA that read these books, and anyone else in the world connected to this website. With fantastic graphics to navigate this site, you can get stuck in a hole of article clicking and reading for hours.


The Paris Review Daily


Paris Review Daily logo


via The Paris Review


Famous for fantastic interviews, this website also features magnificent article, poetry and artistic content. If you want to feel classy, this is an excellent news source to start reading daily.