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Poet Rupi Kaur is 'deeply' concerned that 'Milk and Honey' is one of the most banned books in the U.S.

“i remember sitting in my school library in high school, turning to books about sexual assault because i didn’t have anyone else to turn to. this is the reality for many students,” she wrote.
Rupi Kaur performs in Park City, Utah
Rupi Kaur performs in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 21.Unique Nicole / Getty Images file

Poet Rupi Kaur responded with concern and disappointment to a new report by PEN America that her book “Milk and Honey" is one of the most banned books in the U.S. this school year.

“over the past year or so, ‘milk and honey’ has been getting banned in school districts across america at alarming rates," she wrote on Instagram. "now @penamerica has found it’s in the list of 11 most banned books in the 2022-2023 school year because it explores issues of sexual assault and violence."

“Milk and Honey,” published in 2014, is a book of poems about trauma, love and femininity. The book, which was banned in multiple districts in Missouri this year, tied in ninth place with Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye,” according to the report. Both books were banned in 10 districts.

“i remember sitting in my school library in high school, turning to books about sexual assault because i didn’t have anyone else to turn to. this is the reality for many students,” she continued in her post. “we all find comfort in literature that reflects our experiences. now that books about sexual assault and other topics are being banned— i worry for students who rely on school libraries for access to literature.”

The award-winning author also pointed out that most of the books on the list focus on LGBTQ identity, race, gender, sexual assault and American history.

“it deeply concerns me that there is a group of people hell bent on taking away literature that students find refuge in. parents want to ban books to protect their kids,” she wrote. “many actually seek these books out because they’re going through those experiences themselves.”

The report from PEN America, a nonprofit free speech group, also found that 848 individuals from July to December 2022 were affected by book bans. The organization expects the list to nearly double by the end of the 2022-23 school year.

This isn’t the first time Kaur responded to her book being banned. She commented on Instagram about a ban that went into effect in two states last year.

“over the last few months parts of texas and oregon have banned or attempted to ban ‘milk and honey’ from schools and libraries. why? because it explores sexual assault and violence experienced by a young woman,” she wrote.