Poetry sales rose dramatically last year, thanks to Rupi Kaur’s blockbuster debut collection milk and honey.
According to a new report by BookNet Canada, sales in the category were up 79 per cent from 2015, a number which can “almost entirely be attributed” to the Brampton, Ontario–based poet, whose online writing has garnered her more than a million Instagram followers.
Kaur self-published milk and honey in November 2014, before it was picked up and re-released in October 2015 by Kansas City–based Andrews McMeel Publishing, known mostly for its gift books. In January 2017, McMeel reported that the collection had surpassed 1 million copies sold.
Kaur’s next two collections will be published simultaneously by Andrews McMeel and Simon & Schuster Canada – the first title is due in September – with the two publishers splitting world English rights. S&S Canada vice-president and editorial director Nita Pronovost says, “It’s really great news that poetry has seen a resurgence, and especially thrilling that Rupi, a young Canadian poet, is at the forefront of that renewed interest. Her work has resonated with readers in Canada and all around the world, which you can watch with awe via her international social media following.”
Other categories that saw increases in 2016 are cooking (6 per cent), graphic novels (7 per cent), and thrillers (9 per cent).