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The Instapoetry Community and 4 Unfounded Myths



What is Instapoetry?


While it is predominantly poets that only publish online, in recent years it has also been utilized by published poets to build a following for their work, introduce new books to the world, and importantly, engage with readers through story polls and the comment section of their posts. Moreover, instapoetry today doesn’t just include pictures with beautifully presented poems on them but has also added reels in which authors perform their work. This expands the medium of poetry production and consumption to a more personal approach with video messages illustrating the inspiration behind certain poems and more face-to-face interaction between the online writer and their readers through Instagram Lives. Thus, instapoetry is not just about the poems but also the online community built with each interaction in the comment section of a post.


More on The Instagram Writing Community


The poetry corner of Instagram is vast and has many layers to it. Some pages (usually having thousands to millions of followers) function purely to feature the works of aspiring writers on their profiles, allowing them to get feedback from new and published poets alike. Individual accounts can serve as a way to share one’s work with the world or simply interact with other writers’ posts.


However, poets like Syrian-American international award-winning spoken word artist Amal Qassir have created communities within the platform for poets from specific religious and ethnic backgrounds. In 2020, Amal Qassir founded the House of Amal to provide Muslim writers with a “home to utterly express themselves”. She, along with Sara Bawany and other guest hosts run weekly writing hours and workshops on the House of Amal Instagram page. These are free of cost and provide many writers with a place to talk about personal issues and causes, such as the genocide in Gaza.





The House of Amal has run fundraisers such as "Poems for Palestine," and is currently working on a poetry anthology bringing to light the suffering and injustice that Palestinians are going through.









So what are some myths about being a part of the Instapoetry Community?


Myth 1: There is a standard read-in-one-minute format for posting poetry on your writing account


Reality: Every poet has their own style length and form of poetry. Aside from this, they experiment with different forms and styles, both traditional and modern. Writing prompts can be found and are also a great way to try out new poetry forms.


Myth 2: Because of copyright issues, I should not post any poetry on Instagram


Reality: Many of us here in the writing community are here to grow and improve as well as find encouragement to keep writing. But if you still fear that somebody may steal your work, then you may post excerpts of your poetry rather than the whole piece.


Myth 3: Instagram poets only want to gain likes and follows


Reality: While there are many accounts that post for this reason, and we do need those likes and comments to get the encouragement to keep writing, thats no reason not to join this community. If you are here to grow as a poet, you will be able to find other writers like you and you can connect with them. The similar accounts feature really helps you find writers and accounts like yours. Also, earning likes and comments should actually be seen as a tool that you can use to further your reach. In a chronically online world with people constantly scrolling through their Instagram feed, it is a challenge to capture people's attention, and as Niall O'Sullivan says, one of the purposes of Instapoetry is also to "make the act of scrolling a less toxic experience." That is just a part of the online world that you will have to accept.


Myth 4: Sharing your poetry on Instagram is useless because you don’t earn money


Reality: Sharing your work and connecting with other aspiring writers will help you become a better writer and person. Here on this platform, we are all learning every day in terms of better representation of various ethnic groups, and empathy for those in difficult circumstances. You can connect with writers from different corners of the world, which will open your eyes to different cultures. This is a way to learn about people from the people themselves rather than through biased media sources and preconceived notions that have been taught to you in school. Furthermore, the aspiring writers you connect with will go on to write the novels and poetry collections of the future, and your unique viewpoint if shared with others can also help open up their minds.


Final Thoughts


Instagram is a great way to progress with your writing goals as long as you are clear about your intentions in joining. This may take a while to figure out, but even then you will learn a lot about yourself along the way. For example, what kind of topics do you like to read about in other people’s poetry? And do you want to write more on those topics in your own work?


It is also very important to remember that the writers you connect with on this platform are real people with feelings and lives outside of Instagram. Respect people’s boundaries if they choose not to share any personal information and respect the time they put into commenting on your work and giving advice. Always be kind and considerate. Support and encouragement towards other poets should help you grow both in your writing journey and in building meaningful connections with other aspiring writers.

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10 Comments


This was a very interesting read, as someone who has vaguely heard about instapoetry this blog really expanded on it providing a more concrete explanation of what it includes. I think posting on Instagram is such a good idea, even though sometimes people may deem it to not be actual poetry. I think this form of media not only helps one express themselves but also might be something people on the internet might resonate with. This also aligns with the idea, what we've discussed in class several times, the creation and ones involved in the creation of media to understand the landscape more. I myself sometimes see poetry on Instagram which is beautifully written and I'm glad these platforms help…


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I think different types of poetry are written for different audiences. If poets like Rupi Kaur write "popular poetry", isn't that just one type out of many? I'm not too sure on my take on this to be honest because if people want to buy her books, aren't they free to do so?

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this was great, i think instapoetry has been slammed in recent years for being cringey or for being clout chasing purposes, but social media has given us the putlet of self expression. on a platform like instagram that encourages only picture or video media formats, its important to also post literature and things of substance that impact people's lives and is a huge step of courage to write your poetry on such a public platform. more importantly, it bypasses most accessibility issues that publishers have and allows people from all over the world to publish their poetry and have it reach a global audience

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Yes, that is really true, posting on Instagram does allow new writers to publish their work without having to go through the financial barriers that traditional publishing has. Sharing helpful insights this way enables them to make a different in people's lives with just the click of a button.

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As someone who does has not been exposed to this side of Instagram a lot, this is very informative. Reading this reminds me of the class discussion on fanfiction and writing on online forums. We discussed the taboos on doing so, and whether its considered 'real literature' amongst writers. I am very glad to hear that now Instagram has become another social media platform where people have the freedom to express their opinions, thoughts and feelings through poetry and other art forms. They also enable people to earn revenue and gain confidence in areas where they previously lacked, which is imperative. What would you say to people who would consider instapoetry as something that does not have the ability to…

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Thank you! I'm really glad you found the post informative. It's been a few years now since I joined Instapoetry so I can't imagine not being a part of it. It's interesting that this reminded you of our discussion on fanfiction because that is so true- so many people dismiss Instapoetry as just generic motivational quotes mostly because they aren't a part of the community and it feels a bit disheartening sometimes because people don't really take you seriously if you say you have an Instagram writing account. A common claim is that instapoetry isn't real poetry because you have to design the posts aesthetically pleasing way to get maximum engagement. But I think that's just a part of how…


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As someone who is new to this concept, this was really interesting to read and you have explained the idea very well. It reminded me of the reading about people writing fanfiction and how creating your own media content really helps one learn about the importance and also the frameworks behind critical media literacy. I like how you have outlined some and debunked some myths in a tone as to motivate more and more people to join the community as it is for a good cause e.g. the fundraiser for Palestine. However i had a few questions. I was wondering if non Muslims who want to support or even be a part of this community are welcomed or is it…

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Thankss, I'm glad you found the article to be an interesting read. Regarding your questions, although the House of Amal is run by Muslim poets and instructors, and a lot of Islamic beliefs are discussed during our writing hours, we welcome non-Muslims as well. In fact there are many non-Muslim poets and Literature enthusiasts that join our sessions. Amal also collaborated with Kathleen Adams at The Center for Journal Therapy for the Write Path to Ramadan project, which was basically a guided journalling program to help you grow spiritually during Ramadan. Many non-Muslims who are interested in Ramadan and Islam could take part in the program if they were interested as it was and continues to be open to everyone,…


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Debunking some of the Instapoetry myths was a really good step to take, especially if one is looking for encouragement in setting up their own page. However, regarding Myth 4, while Instagram may be an excellent site to help garner attention from various important figures, do you think the benefits of utilizing an official publishing platform for their work could offer them better monetary/recognitional benefits? Starting off from a reputable literary outlet could help pave the way for further opportunities like book deals, podcasts, etc and make it easier for the literary community to access your work. Financial stability is a pretty important factor in many novice writer's careers, which would help ensure they are able to put in the…

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I think publishing your work on Instagram ideally should go hand in hand with submitting to renowned literary magazines, whether they are online or in print. But the problem with these "big" and well-established platforms is that they always have a specific type of poetry in mind. For example, let's say I write a lot about my life and the struggles I've been through as a Pakistani and as a woman. If I want to get published by a "big" magazine, I will have to fit into their box of what good writing or an important topics is. Since the majority of renowned lit mags are from the West (usually based in the US), oftentimes they will be looking for…


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