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Announcements > Comment with your questions for Rupi Kaur!

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message 1: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (cordeliareads) | 43 comments Mod
Hi Everyone,

It's great to see everyone getting stuck into Milk and Honey! We would love to gather some questions from Our Shared Shelf members to put to Rupi Kaur so that we can learn more about her and about this beautiful book.

We would love to give you a chance to ask Rupi a question. Please let us know in the comments section below!

If questions could be in by 25th July that would be fantastic.

Many thanks,
The OSS Moderators

message 2: by Ghada (new)

Ghada (unicornreader) I really enjoyed Milk and Honey because the poetry collection really struck very close to home with me and I especially love how it discuss taboos very explicitly.

My question to Rupi Kaur is, did you get any backlash or hate from your community because of writing about these issues? And how do you deal with it? I myself am an aspiring novelist and poet and the only thing holding me back from publishing is my fear from my conservative community.

message 3: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Jo (jo_9) | 373 comments Mod
Pam wrote: "Thank you for posting this Cordelia.

While I am so thankful that OSS and Emma offers us these insightful interviews, I have to be mindful that it is hard for many of us to obtain the book before t..."

You make a very valid point, Pam.
I think you're right and these things should always be taken into consideration, however sometimes (such as this time) we do need to try and fit it in around scheduling conflicts. Unfortunately on this occasion we don't have too much time as we need to collate all of the questions ready and send them over to Rupi for her to answer in early August. :)

message 4: by Pam (last edited Jul 18, 2018 05:45AM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Appreciate your response Jo! Thank you for keeping this in mind. And as always, for facilitating these dialogues between all parties.

message 5: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (cordeliareads) | 43 comments Mod
Unicorn wrote: "I really enjoyed Milk and Honey because the poetry collection really struck very close to home with me and I especially love how it discuss taboos very explicitly.

My question to Rupi Kaur is, di..."

Thank you, Unicorn!

message 6: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | 31 comments Rupi,

How did you move past the awful things to be able to see the beauty in yourself, other people, and the world? Is it still a conscious effort? What about when you see terrible things happening in the world - child rape and murder in Asia, the way refugees are treated throughout the world, the US government separating families... how to you keep from giving in to rage and despair?

Your book is beautiful and difficult, just like humans. I loved it.

message 7: by Allison (new)

Allison (allipie77) | 5 comments I really enjoyed your book, and I'm happy that so many of your poems and ideals are being shared around. Throughout this book you deal with trauma in your personal life, overcome it, and become an advocate for yourself and in the process you become an advocate for women everywhere.

Your book is really raw at times, and you express your struggles. My question is: How do you deal with criticisms that your book gets? How do you cope with exposing something so raw and true to yourself, and then have people say negative things about it?

I think that this question is important, because many people are often afraid of being themselves, and after reading your book, they may be more willing to stay true to their identity, because you are such a powerful role model. However, I think that the major thing that may hold them back, may be the criticisms that they may face. You have had the courage to publish such a powerful book, and have faced some public criticism due to it. Although the reception has been overwhelmingly positive, sometimes it's hard to hear negative things, so I think it would be interesting to learn how you cope with that.

Thank you, Allison

message 8: by Jenny (new)

Jenny I absolutely loved both your books Rupi and so hope you will be writing more books for us readers to devour, my question is how do move beyond each story . And did you struggle sharing yourself in this way with the world? I'm so glad you did by the way, they helped me heal on my own journey of life, thank you.

message 9: by Viviana (new)

Viviana | 4 comments Rupi, I wanted to say how beautiful your writing is. I wanted to ask where do you enjoy writing? Is it something you prefer to do in private? In a coffee shop? In a park? Do you write by hand or do you write on your computer?
Lastly, what advice would you give to a writer who is afraid of writing and is holding back?

message 10: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Trofimencoff | 48 comments Hi Rupi: I have read both books of your beautiful poetry and I would like to know, did you write for a specific intended audience? The two books have a different feel to them. I especially liked Milk and Honey as it was so raw and utterly true in so many ways. I hope you continue to publish more of your writing.

message 11: by Jessie (new)

Jessie Lynn | 3 comments Milk and Honey was so absolutely delightful to read and I quickly dove into The Sun and Her Flowers! I am curious Rupi if you experience self doubt before publishing and how long did it take you to comprise you’re very first manuscript? I am very passionate about writing yet feel I lack faith in myself to compose something that has validity to it!

message 12: by Анелия (new)

Анелия (aemilova) My questions are:
1. How did you feel writing the poems?
2. How did you felt once they were written?
3. How do you feel about them now?

Thank you very much, I loved both books and they brought a feel of confort but also made me feel mad at myself, they definitely made me think about the things I've done and do and the way I do them.

message 13: by Clare (new)

Clare (claresbooks) | 4 comments Hi, I loved Milk and Honey. It was very raw and real. My question is: what are your thoughts on your poetry being criticized as “tumblr speak”?

I’ve seen many protest that it’s not “real poetry”, but it’s made me feel more than any other poetry I’ve read.

message 14: by Lacey (new)

Lacey | 1 comments I love your writing, thank you for sharing with the world!

My question: Did you feel pressure (self and/or society) to start your writing career in a more traditional path such a fiction or memoir? What do you love about being a poet in 2018?

message 15: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (shanwow99) | 1 comments I loved both of your poem collections and thank you for writing what was in your heart.
My question is twofold: how were you able to put very complicated and deep emotions into words that flowed and was it difficult for you to find those words.

Thank you again, I can't wait to follow your writing journey in the future.

Best, Shannon

message 16: by Emily (new)

Emily Alkire Hi!! My question regards the writing process of Rupi Kaur: how would you describe your writing process? Where do you start with a poem or does the process switch up every time? I would love to understand how poets’ writing processes are different from a fiction/novel authors’ writing process.

message 17: by Flisan93 (new)

Flisan93 | 1 comments How would you advise a reader to go about reading poetry when one is not used to it?

message 18: by India (new)

India Marie Paul (indiamariepaul) My question would be:

How much editing does a poem typically go through before you are comfortable sharing it? Are they all pretty raw or do you spend time after the first inspiration tweaking them?

message 19: by Amal (new)

Amal | 8 comments I loved Milk and Honey sooo much, and it opened my eyes on how beautiful we are as women when we are in love or broken by it or healing and becoming more powerful. My questions to Rupi Kauri are: Did you regret writing about some parts of your poems that are so personal and considered taboo topics to talk about in some societies? How you feel after becoming naked in front of the audience and your readers (Did it bring positive or negative results)?

message 20: by Kartiki (new)

Kartiki (kartiki_sharma) | 1 comments Hi Rupi!

My question is in reference to your book and one of your interview answers which has really stuck with me. When sharing your story of moving from India, you mentioned the language barrier you experienced as a child and how you found drawing to be an avenue of communication.
With your books today, I think it’s beautiful how that is still part of your work.
I grew up in a similar setting experiencing language barriers, so I connect with you on this beyond words.

My question for you is 2-part: what was your translation process like when you first chose writing as an avenue of expression compared to drawing the same ideas out? Do you find language to play an important part in how we ‘emotionalize’?

Thank you!

message 21: by Helena (new)

Helena (helenaelizondo) | 2 comments I am so excited to be able to ask something to Rupi. She is a big inspiration. I have now read both Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers, and anyone can tell how much I love them by the amount of dogeared pages both of them have.
My question to Rupi is: how do you manage to apply feminism to every aspect of life?

Best regards from Barcelona,

message 22: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne | 2 comments Reading through Milk and Honey, I noticed that many of the poems were about very traumatic experiences and my question is, was it hard to write these poems knowing that they were going to be shared with the world?

message 23: by cyn (new)

cyn (cyncinnati) | 16 comments I love both Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers. The poems were deep and meaningful, and I love them so much that I began to get into poetry too! It’s calming and i find solace in writing.

What topics do you find yourself writing the most about? For example, love, loss, scenery, etc. And why do you think that is?

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)


Why the subtle and enigmatic art of poetry? Is it because emotions are themselves mysterious and sophisticated?
Do you think that a few words are more powerful that an entire talk? (Of course, far be it from me to write that because poems sound sometime significantly surgical).

Looking forward to reading another of your book!

message 25: by Karen (new)

Karen Gruen When did you begin writing poetry? And why poetry instead of stories or novels?

message 26: by Cris (new)

Cris Vallejo | 2 comments Rupi, how did you become such an empowered women? I admire your courage, your strength and how you've been able to overcome all the struggle throughout your life. Where did you find your inspiration to introduce yourself in the world of literature?
Thank you for all your poetry and, please, keep delighting us with your talent.
Take care! xx

message 27: by Shelby (new)

Shelby Leigh (shelbysleigh) | 1 comments Rupi, you encouraged and inspired me to self-publish my own poetry book. That being said, I am curious, did you feel a lot of pressure for your second book, following the success of your first book? How did you manage those feelings?

message 28: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Tanti | 1 comments Rupi, since reading your poetry I have realised that my propensity to writing about my own trauma might not just be a hobbie. How did you first discover that poetry was what you wanted to write and not a novel or another form of writing?

message 29: by Nora (new)

Nora | 2 comments Thank you Rupi for baring your soul to us, I appreciate it so much!
Is your poetry still made only for yourself or now something that you want others to read?

And are you planning a new poetry collection soon? :)
PS. I cried reading this and it made me write poetry too

message 30: by Marcella (new)

Marcella Azcona | 1 comments My question to Rupi:

Which poem in Milk and Honey was the hardest to write in terms of feeling comfortable with sharing something so deep and personal with the world, and why?

Jessica (The Mortal Jessica) (jessicapaigee_) | 4 comments As someone who has also been a victim of rape, I applaud you for your work. Did you ever have to deal with the fear of public backlash if you told your story?

message 32: by Gail (new)

Gail (The Knight Reader) (gailrenatta) Which was the hardest poem for you to write and why?

message 33: by Colette (new)

Colette | 3 comments What has been the most impactful experience for you since milk and honey was published?

message 34: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin Ladegaard | 2 comments Where, what and who du you get your inspiration from?

message 35: by Anshita (last edited Jul 22, 2018 09:24AM) (new)

Anshita (_book_freak) | 14 comments First and foremost, I would like to thank Rupi Kaur for writing and publishing her work. As a fellow South-Asian woman, I recognize your writing as soon as I read it. I'm overjoyed when I see a book with your name sitting in the poetry section of bookstores, where earlier I've only found an abundance of male or non-Asian writers. Your poetry deserves the same freedom as any other white male's voice and should be allowed to be flawed.
My two questions for you are:
1) How did self-publishing your poems and taking control of the creative process change your process of writing?
2) How do you deal with the backlash posed by satirical tweets and objectionable articles on the internet?
Best regards,

message 36: by Mary (new)

Mary Ma | 1 comments Rupi, I’m also a Waterloo English grad (a couple of years after you)! Milk and Honey was very impactful for me, and I’ve recently read The Sun and Her Flowers as well. My question is: what was your process between the two books? And what were your inspirations?


message 37: by Denise (new)

Denise | 3 comments Not a question as much as a thank you. Thank you for the honesty that is laced within your words and the courage and confidence it took to share these emotions with us.

message 38: by Robin (new)

Robin (z_rob) | 128 comments Did you get help or sought guidance to a counsellor/therapist to talk about what happened to you before expressing them in your books?

message 39: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin | 1 comments I was a psych major and English minor in college. Since graduating with a masters in behavior, it’s been a few years since I’ve focused on any particular genre of literature besides my comforting go-to sci-fi/fantasy genre. However, I was intrigued when the first collection came out, and I picked it up not knowing what to expect. These are the books that brought me back to poetry.

2 questions:
1. What was your favorite poem as a young adult? 2. What is currently your favorite poem from your collection and what was your favorite poem when you had just finished writing either book?

Thank you!

message 40: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2 comments I'm an avid reader and will read most things (fiction, non-fiction, historic, fantasy, young adult...), but have always struggled with poetry. I echo Emma's question about how to more fully understand and appreciate poetry; in particular, how much to delve into the meaning behind the writing versus allowing the words and sentiments to just flow over and through you.

I also echo the thanks for being able to ask questions!

message 41: by Rosalynd (new)

Rosalynd (scarfy189) Hi Rupi! I first read your book as I was recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship and it was so refreshing to be able to read not only about the trauma you underwent, but your recovery and outlook following it. You really helped me to move past my experience in a healthy way and I am forever grateful for your writing.

The biggest criticism I hear of your writing is that it’s in a free verse rather than a more standard rhyme scheme. Why did you choose your poetry form, and did you dabble in any others before deciding on free verse? xx

message 42: by Eiline (new)

Eiline | 2 comments the illustrations are great. who drew them? did rupi draw them herself?

message 43: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (readinghannah) | 4 comments This book is fairly quick to read, and I'm wondering about your thoughts regarding poetry that's riddled with pithy, hard-hitting sentiment versus poetry that dilutes those emotions over several long, winding verses.

message 44: by Noah (new)

Noah Condon (noblehoney) | 1 comments I read Milk & Honey last summer the month of my sexual assault and as a trans boy who, at the time, was 15 years old felt so alone. Milk & Honey really inspired me to seek help. Thank you so much for being the light I needed to get help, Rupi. My question for you is, what was the hardest thing about writing the book? What was going through your mind while you were writing it? Much love!

message 45: by Morgan (new)

Morgan Henry | 1 comments I read Milk and Honey on a overseas plane ride for about an hour. I may have been on a plane, but I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I never read poetry but Rupi, you took my soul on a journey that I desperately needed to go on. Now, I recommend this book to everyone because I love the power and strength it fills me with.

My question is how did you learn to write with such power and strength? It's sincerely a superpower!

message 46: by Shawn (new)

Shawn Garcia (shawngie) | 6 comments {:

message 47: by Becci (new)

Becci | 1 comments Thank you so much to OSS and Emma for giving us this chance.

I have the following (more general) question but I feel that Rupi might just be the right woman to give an answer:

Dear Rupi,
having grown up in Western Europe I am often confronted with people (my age - so in their early twenties) who don't believe that feminism is still relevant in our context, arguing that women right now are often even having more advantages than man (e.g. number of university graduates, etc.) and that women living in richer countries are making this too big a deal. How would you answer this?

I have my own answers of course but would love to hear yours. I admire your works!

message 48: by Eva-Maria (new)

Eva-Maria Obermann (eva-mariaobermann) | 3 comments I just started reading and I'm just flashed with the emotional power oft the words. The poems are so full of meaning, so great and soft at the same time.

How long do you work on one poem. Is it like an idea, that has to come to words, or are the lines finding their way just like plopping up in your mind?

message 49: by Amelia (new)

Amelia Kaufman My question is: “Your writing has a very unique structuring. What is your process of writing like? How did you approach composing Milk and Honey? Where did you draw inspiration from to create the format you did? Thanks!

message 50: by Amber (new)

Amber | 2 comments Thank you Our Shared Shelf for the opportunities to ask questions of amazing authors such as Rupi Kaur!

My question is about her process of creating Milk and Honey. I am wondering if the poems were written and then categorized by theme, or if you had the big themes of the book in mind before writing the poetry? I loved the progression of the poems within each section and then the progression of the overall book as well, and was curious about your intentionality when creating Milk and Honey.

Thank you!

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