Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Natalie Carter


Reading and analyzing poetry can be an equally beautiful and frustrating experience. Interacting with a poem allows a reader to access untapped emotions through the words on the page; yet, when not given the tools to understand canonical poetry, young readers are often left at a loss. The rise of “Insta-poetry” gives younger generations of readers access to poems that are both relatable in experience and language. Using Rupi Kaur as a vehicle towards unmasking the importance of the rise of poetry on Instagram, this thesis highlights the importance of reshaping the literary canon to become a more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible experience. The first section, “reshaping the canon,” will detail the historical background of canon formation and the subsequent need to allow more poets into the canon to eliminate the elitist nature of poetry. The second section, “Rupi Kaur and social media,” dives deep into how Instagram as a platform provides a productive space for young readers to connect with poetry more than ever before. Lastly, “diversity, equity, and accessibility” uncovers why and how Instagram as a publishing tool for poetry increases diversity in writers and readers alike, and allows poetry to become a more equitable experience for all.