The Evolution of “Instapoetry”

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Anyone with an Instagram account should recognize this kind of poetry- printed in a typewriter font, preaching love and positivity, and never more than a few words in a few lines. “Instapoets” have become a new sensation, with these writers collecting thousands to millions of followers for their craft. And why not? The images are aesthetically appealing, and the short universal phrases could provide comfort and familiarity to anyone.

Well, some critiques argue that it isn’t poetry at all. Even R.M. Drake, an Instapoet with 1.9 million followers, has said that he does not consider his own work poetry. Others agree by saying it is too simple, too universal, and too much like commercial products. But Instapoets have defended themselves against what they view as this elitist criticism- Amanda Lovelace said that the term “Instapoets” itself is used to separate them from “real poets” aka dead white, straight, cisgender, males.” As opposed to some more esoteric poetry, Instagram poetry is both easily accessible and easily understood by the general public. So are Instapoets letting poetry evolve and survive in the new digital world, or destroying it all together?

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