8 BIPOC Instapoets We Love
Spending time on a platform like Instagram definitely has its pros and cons, but one of the very beautiful things it has allowed us to do is discover new forms of art that can really impact our day-to-day lives, like instapoets. If you don’t know what an “instapoet” is, read on! On any day, and especially when you’re feeling down, it can be really helpful to be uplifted while scrolling, and instapoets are a go-to. Their words often help us feel heard, seen, and can even give us those “ah-ha” moments that pull us out of a hard place or enable us to deal with something we haven’t. Plus, they’re accessible.
Whatever you’re going through, these 8 BIPOC instapoets will prove to have your back. Check them out below and give them a follow on Instagram to see more of their work:
1. Alex Elle
Alex Elle is an author, podcast host and wellness consultant. On her Instagram, Alex shares updates and reflections about her daily live with her husband and children, while also sharing inspirational, validating, empowering affirmations around self-love and healing. She has several books and journals ranging from collections of her beautiful poetry to meditation journals to essays that promote community-building and self-care practices that push us to put a light on our truth without shame. When you’re done taking your daily scroll through her page, you’ll likely feel like your cup is full and your heart, grateful.
2. Cleo Wade
She’s described as a “friend” and “community builder” in her website biography — need we say more? The poet, author and activist has been featured in at least one of your favourite magazines, including Time Magazine who called her “the poet of her generation.” Her poetry is all about affirmation, activism and women’s empowerment (heck yes!). She teaches us how to live through love, and love through living. There is no doubt you will feel inspired by her words and feel called to act.
3. Pavana Reddy
Pavana Reddy is a poet, songwriter and author based out of LA, but actually grew up in British Columbia, Canada. Love, pain, loss, healing and growth are all weaved into her writing, which she utilizes as a way to share her feelings and sort through her thoughts. Her process of acknowledgement and healing through poetry is something she shares with the world. And it resonates. Deeply. She reflects a lot on the pain and sense of otherness her and her South Asian family experienced when she was growing up — an important conversation around race and intersectionality. She is an inspiration to young people when speaking out about mental health, and through this, she promotes collective healing. Plus, her words evoke vivid imagery that will have you daydreaming of all the different ways you could manifest as a flower.
4. Yung Pueblo
Diego Perez, more famously known as Yung Pueblo, is a poet, meditator and speaker who uses words to promote healing. “Yung Pueblo,” means “young people,” and to Perez, reminds him of where he comes from and his various experiences in activism. Taken from his website (hyperlink yungpueblo.com), “through writing and speaking, he aims to support the healing of the individual, realizing that when we release our personal burdens, we contribute to a global peace.” He also is the author of Inward, a collection of poetry, quotes and prose that explores the journey of love and truly knowing oneself. His words will have you reflecting on ways to truly acknowledge your trauma and pain, and ultimately, move towards a life of love.
We don’t doubt you’ve seen this trailblazer’s work around on Instagram. And that alone speaks volumes to how beautiful her work is. Morgan Harper Nichols writes poetry and creates digital mixed media art inspired by real stories from her life and those she encounters. She uses her creativity to connect with others, and as a result has created a massive community on her Instagram. Her work is incredibly inspiring and evokes a sense of comfort, healing and joy all mixed together.
6. Lang Leav
Lang Leav is a novelist and poet who has gained much popularity on Instagram for sharing new works and excerpts of her multiple international bestseller books. Her poems are well-loved by women worldwide, for their notes on female empowerment, love, loss, struggle and healing resonates deeply with many and what they are going through in life. Lang was born in a Thai refugee camp when her family was fleeing the Khmer Rouge Regime, and grew up in Australia – these experiences, too, are woven into her poems.
7. Tonya Ingram
Tonya Ingram is a poet, author of three poetry books and mental health advocate. Her work embodies the importance of taking care of ourselves, and one another, especially on the days where we feel unworthy of such care and love. Tonya was diagnosed with lupus nephritis in 2013, which then led her to end-stage kidney failure. As a result, she is currently on dialysis, hoping for a kidney transplant. Living with chronic illness, her poetry has served as an important reminder to both herself and her community that we are all worthy to be alive, that we are all seen – connecting art to physical and mental health. Gratitude, self-love and empowerment are sprinkled throughout her work.
8. Joél Leon
Joél Leon is a speaker, author, poet and storyteller who tells stories for Black people. Love is at the centre of his work, woven into his words on race, masculinity, mental health, creativity and the performing arts. He shares his work on Instagram in his own unique way. You’ll know when you see repurposed posts from Twitter with beautiful art in the background that it’s Joel’s work — if the words don’t give that away first. Though he writes for Black people, we all can learn something from Joel’s words, as he teaches us about healing, growing and ultimately, being and getting better so we can do better for our communities and fight against racism.
Feeling inspired to add more instapoets to your list of fave Instagram accounts? We hope so! And, by following these 8 instapoets and engaging with their content, you can diversify your feeds and help support more BIPOC voices every day. – Jasmine Sikand
Check out these 8 movies and shows to get educated on anti-Black racism.