Poet Scott Laudati // Photo courtesy of Scott Laudati
Instagram poetry is a rising trend.
Love poems and short stories that catch the attention of millions on social media are thrusting new writers onto the poetry scene.
Up-and-coming writers are taking to social media to share their poems, catching the attention of publishers and fellow poetry lovers.
Top names in Instagram poetry currently are Rupi Kaur, @rupikaur_, with over 2 million followers, Atticus, @atticuspoetry, with over 650,000 followers and Tyler Knott Gregson, @tylerknott, with over 350,000 followers.
Author Scott Laudati is another one of the success stories.
Laudati started writing in college before sharing poetry on Instagram caught on, but has now gained over 23,000 followers on the platform, as he continues to release new poetry and stories.
Laudati recently published a book titled “Bone House,” which showcases his second collection of poems.
He said he considered a published book to be the real accomplishment of a writer, but faced many challenges before “Bone House” was finally picked up by Bone Machine Books.
Born and raised in New York, Laudati’s “Bone House” includes poetry on the topics of love, New York City, drugs, youth and faith.
Laudati was previously a nominee for the 2012 Pushcart Prize, which honors poetry, short fiction and essays published in small presses.
His works have been published in over 14 journals and literary reviews, including The Good Men Project, The Stockholm Review of Literature and The Virginia Normal.
“I started writing totally by accident, none of this Instagram poetry was happening at the time,” Laudati said. “I was so sleep-deprived in college I started writing just for fun, then all of a sudden I had 12 poems.”
Laudati said his current audience is mostly college students, and he finds many of them are more engaged, articulate and interested in real art compared to his peers in college.
“For so long nobody cared,” Laudati said. “Everybody tells you to stop wasting your time making art, if you’re a man you have to be a cop or a firefighter, otherwise everyone thinks you’re a weirdo.”
Laudati said it took time for people to accept that he was taking an artistic path rather than one that was typical of other young men.
Now, he said he gets to meet fans and authors all over the world who like his poetry.
His previously published books, “Play The Devil” and “Hawaiian Shirts In The Electric Chair,” allowed him to network with other authors and publishers to further promote his future work.
“Every time someone tells me they like my poetry, it is like hearing it for the first time,” Laudati said.
Laudati mentioned a fellow author and poet who is taking a different route by publishing a satirical take on the typical Instagram poet.
Thom Young, @tyypoet, has gained notoriety with over 48,000 Instagram followers. He was nominated for both the 2008 Million Writers Award and the 2017 Pushcart Prize.
Young has also had his work published in an evening news broadcast, PBS NewsHour and The Wall Street Journal. He has gained online popularity with his short love poems with satirical captions.
Young said he saves his real poetry for literary journals and that once he got published for the first time, it was a snowball effect toward getting his following work published.
Young said the most rewarding part of his work is the connections he’s able to make with his audience.
He said despite Instagram being great for exposure, his real work is published in journals. Instagram allows him to try new things with his posts and captions.
“I’ve always written for myself first,” Young said. “Having real published poetry that connects with people emotionally is more rewarding than doing social media poetry.”