These days, log into Instagram and you’ll find a jungle of fashion bloggers, foodies and travelers lurking behind hashtags, hoping for a slice of the million-follower pie. It seems that a number of specific things garner attention: Colors, beaches, subtle sex appeal, smoothie bowls, workout plans, outfits, burgers, puppies, Kardashians – the eccentric list trails on, but a sweet new form of minimalism has found its way to fame on Instagram. In a world of photos, poets have established a striking voice.
During a new age with multiple platforms allowing free publishing, authors have new opportunities for gaining followers and earning wider traction. On the surface, Instagram appears the most unlikely of platforms for circulating text. Users scroll through lengthy captions, and emojis illustrate rather than simply label. Despite these stacked odds, a range of poets have found remarkable success. With clean layouts, consistent postings and raw emotion, standout accounts accumulate thousands upon thousands of modern readers.
Talented users like Rio Jones, Lang Leav and Christopher Poindexter have all steadily gained followers by posting their work. The title of Keats-of-the-Instagram-poet-generation, however, belongs to R.M. Drake, a mysterious user with raw love poetry and reflections that seem hauntingly familiar. His elegantly human poetry and classic type-writer presentation led to a million followers on the platform, which in turn have earned the poet a publishing deal for his books, including Beautiful Chaos and the soon-to-come Black Butterfly. Loyal online followers and newcomers alike are rushing to purchase the book, a printed homage to a virtual phenomenon.
Would you publish your poems to Instagram? Have any favorite writers you think we should follow?