Watch Rupi Kaur Live
Rupi's first-ever taped show premiered worldwide on April 30th.
Rupi’s performance engages the audience like a stand-up and enthrals them through her theatrical style. Thank you to everyone who joined Rupi as she returned to the stage.
Visit our F.A.Q. page for more information.
Rupi Kaur Live
A new road
I was in high school when I performed my first poem. I don’t know why I wrote it or why I even went to that open mic. I think I was trying to save my life. I wasn’t doing well and the future looked bleak. Maybe I showed up looking for a sign. And when I heard it—when I heard my voice reverberate across the room and land on 30 pairs of ears—I felt something I'd never felt before: I was worthy of being listened to.
There was no stopping after that. I went from open mic to open mic. Performed at every community event. Those poems turned into books, which eventually became sold-out tours.
Performing is the joy of my life. I become the woman of my dreams when I'm on stage. It’s where I feel most present. It’s safe. It’s mine. It’s where everything bad that’s happened can’t touch me. I love being able to meet you in person to talk about all the hard stuff: Heartbreak. Loss. Abuse. I love talking about all the good stuff: Love. Sisterhood. Self acceptance. Healing. I love laughing with you. Crying with you. Reading to you. And coming alive together.
Having readers across the world has allowed me to perform in the most beautiful cities. With 40 publishers wanting me to come and tour their countries, I was on the road nonstop these last few years. But no matter how fast I moved, I realized there was no way I could tour everywhere and continue to write books at the same time.
That’s when I had this dream. What if I filmed my live performance for the big screen? What if no matter where in the world they lived, my readers could watch me perform on their TVs screens.
I am overjoyed to share that it’s finally happening.
On April 30th my debut film, Rupi Kaur Live is premiering and it would be the greatest honour if you could watch and welcome it into the world with me.
Making Rupi Kaur Live was a journey that couldn’t be possible without Rakhi, my dear friend, manager, and business partner. Together with my publishers, we began pitching the idea to streaming platforms.
After months of relentless efforts we were turned down by all of them.
“Nothing like this exists on our platform. Is it stand-up? Is it a documentary? No thank you—we’ll pass.”
I wasn’t too bothered by the rejection.
A poetic performance like this doesn’t exist on any of these streaming platforms, but that wasn’t a reason to let the dream go. We decided to find the funding and film it ourselves. A completely independent project. If the gatekeepers didn’t want to take the risk and bet on us, we would.
Then, we’d show them the magic and sell it.
Off we went. The entire process was honestly one of the most creative and invigorating experiences. Rupi Kaur Live was filmed over two nights. It was beautiful. Larger than life. Once complete, we began shopping it with our sales agents to every streaming network in America. Things were looking up.
Everyone said I had nothing to worry about. Everyone was excited. In December, Rakhi called to give me an update on the latest offer and I hurriedly picked up.
I put the phone to my ear and there was quiet on the other end. The quiet only lasted about 2 seconds, but I knew that quiet. It’s the quiet you hear on the other end of the phone when your boyfriend calls to break your heart. It’s the quiet that’s soaked in sadness because the person on the other end has no idea how to say what they’re about to say to you.
“Ok tell me tell me tell me, what’s the offer?” I asked her.
She paused for a moment, exhaled, and said: “They said no. There is no offer.”
“Okay,” I replied with a cheery positivity, “...where to next?”
“There’s nowhere else. They all said no. They don’t see where the show would fit on their platform. They don’t get it. They don’t believe that people want to watch this type of content.”
I was confused. How could they think people weren't interested in this type of content when we’d sold close to over 8 million books and multiple sold-out global tours.
Suddenly, I felt this déjà vu run through my body. I’d been here before. Back In 2014 when I tried to publish milk and honey, and the gatekeepers said “there's no market for poetry.”
They didn’t “get it” then either. The gatekeepers couldn’t imagine that a book of poetry could be “successful”. I’m so happy that at 21-years-old, I didn’t let their limitations hold me back.
I self-published milk and honey and brought it straight to you. We built a new road together, one the entire industry thought that no one would take, and a few years later— 8 million of you have. We did that.
So here I am again, with another piece of art the gatekeepers don't want. Who cares?! I never made Rupi kaur Live for them. I made it for you. And so, I’m doing the exact same thing I did with milk and honey and self-releasing Rupi Kaur Live. I am coming to you, my real partners, and asking you to come build a new road with me.
I am scared and nervous because it’s not going to be easy. But I am laying down the first brick and stepping forward. I know that I’m in the best hands with you and I can’t wait for April 30th. I can’t wait for you to sit in front of your laptops and TV screens and watch the poetry come to life.
At this moment, I am thinking about the girl I was at that first open-mic over a decade ago, all trembling and scared. I wish I could tell her to hang in there. That one day she was going to share what was in her heart in ways she couldn't imagine. I wish I could tell her that she would find her people: the souls who wanted to talk loudly about the things others only whispered about. The souls who wanted to challenge the world. The feelers. The thinkers. You.
Rupi Kaur Live is my love letter to you. You made this dream a reality. Thank you for being the greatest readers in the world. Thank you for being on this journey with me. For having my back. For loving and supporting and raising poetry to new heights.