Following the success of her previous poem collection, home body, Rupi Kaur will release a new work of self-reflective poetry on September 27. Her Campus at UCLA had the opportunity to attend a press conference with Kaur to discuss this upcoming book, Healing Through Words. With Healing Through Words, Kaur welcomes readers into her world of creative writing and leads them on a tour of self reflection. Her poems are combined with guided writing exercises that emphasize the importance of healing from trauma, loss and heartache to celebrate one’s best self beyond pain.
Kaur has earned her status as an internationally best-selling poet due to her ability to imbue her lines with vulnerability. She wrote much of her first work, milk and honey, without planning to publish the poems. According to Kaur, only her naive belief that no one would read her creations allowed her to publish such honest feelings. With each new book, she finds more courage to maintain the rawness that initially caught readers’ attention. She has found that writing before deciding whether or not to share her work has helped her become more vulnerable as she “gets to decide what pieces (she) wants to keep for ‘her’.” In Healing Through Words, she explores a new dimension of her signature openness and beckons readers to express their own hidden feelings.
Healing Through Words’s vulnerability is rooted in Kaur’s organic writing process. Kaur felt no obligation to continue the storyline of her previous works, nor was she under contract to produce a fourth work. Healing Through Words simply sprouted from some of her older poetry, as she found herself searching for tools to pull herself beyond writer’s block during the later stages of the pandemic. She said that she was “Writing for me.”
Writing for herself meant prioritizing her creative boundaries and not forcing herself to compose poetry 24/7. For her poems to flow, Kaur explained, “I have to be outside, I have to be in conversation with people, I have to laugh, I have to experience.” To streamline her writing process, she often meditates as a creative ritual and she said she has learned to step back into teachings of her culture’s mysticisms and trust her gut instincts. When writing Healing Through Words, she also engaged in what she called “free writing,” a process in which she allows her subconscious to do the work without bogging herself down with self-editing. This overall approach to poetry shaped her new book into a love letter of her efforts at self reconciliation and self love.
This natural process also led to Healing Through Words’s special, interactive element. During the pandemic, Kaur held creative writing workshops through her Instagram live feed. Initially, she simply did these workshops to feel less isolated; however, she was shocked to learn how many of her readers were writers themselves (some workshops garnered nearly 10,000 viewers!). The popularity then led her to create writing exercises to add to her book, as Healing Through Words became a gift Kaur made not only for herself but for all those who take a chance to write. She now hopes her fourth book will encourage people to seek self care and inner reflection, in the process generating a new wave of written work.
Healing Through Words is available for pre-order now.