Rupi Kaur’s first Chicago show makes massive impression


As a part of her book tour, the poet Rupi Kaur preformed in Chicago Oct. 1. (Performer’s Website)

Isabel Tuisl, Website/Social Media co-editor

Chicago has been awaiting the arrival of 25-year-old poet Rupi Kaur for years, with her first release of the NYT’s Bestseller milk & honey in 2014. In January when she announced her the sun and her flowers tour for her second book that debuted Oct. 3, 2017, I frantically searched for Chicago as one of the places she would be coming to. Unfortunately, that was not the case. However, after ten months of touring all around the world, she finally added Chicago to the list. Monday, Oct. 1, was the day we were all looking forward to, and it was nothing short of magical.

The spoken word poetry show started at 8 p.m., an hour later than it was said to start, but her performance made up for it. The Chicago Theatre stage was set up with a screen behind her, displaying aesthetic patterns and illustrations from her books. Before the microphone stand lay rose petals sprinkled all across the stage. The setting matched her soothing voice and animated energy. She began acting out a few of the first poems from the first chapter, “wilting,” in the sun and her flowers. The way her body and movements flowed together with her words put me in a trance for the rest of the show. Although, the story that struck a chord with me the most was about her depression. Kaur did not only read her poems off the pages of her books, she connected them to her other poems and told the stories behind them. This approach linked her personal experiences with her written words, giving the poems a whole other meaning and more significance than just the interpretation that the readers applied themselves. The method of incorporating her own occurrences into the show helped not only me but a lot of the audience members to consociate our feelings and events that have happened in our lives to hers, creating an emotional dynamic between her and the audience that even drove tears from a few people, including mine.

An unexpected but personal favorite aspect of her show that I did not anticipate was the amount of humor that was presented by Kaur. She created a light-hearted environment in the midst of heavy topics, generating a positive buzz amongst the room. Before seeing her live, I did not read a single one of her poems in a comical sense. Seeing her make light of dark times and situations in her life gave me a sense of warm heartedness that inspired me to implement into my life as well.

Despite critics’ discourse towards Kaur’s writing, it resonated with me and many others. Her books are available in most bookstores, as well as

Rupi Kaur reading her poetry book milk and honey at a recent show.