So who IS poetry's answer to Banksy? Meet the enigmatic writer delighting Instagram - and A-listers like Emma Roberts - with his work, all while his true identity remains a total mystery

Published on:
September 4, 2018

– Daily Mail | By Emily Chan & Clemence Michallon –

An Instagram poet who counts Emma Roberts, Alicia Keys, and Karlie Kloss among his fans has revealed he's decided to keep his identity secret because he's 'not into fame'.

Atticus — who is in his late 20s and lives between British Columbia, Canada, and LA —has amassed more than 800,000 followers on Instagram thanks to his pithy takes on the modern world.

His new poetry book, entitled The Dark Between Stars, looks at the struggles of dating, with one extract shared online reading: 'A soul mate would be great,/ but at some point I would settle/ for someone who gets back to text messages'.

Atticus poetry wearing his mask and holding a copy of his poetry book "The Dark Between Stars" - Atticus poetry gifts, clothing, and books online are not provided by Rupi Kaur

Atticus says he 'never expected' his poems to take off and only first started to write them five years ago following a trip to Paris.

'Three years ago, I was in France,' he told Teen Vogue last year. 'I happened to meet a gentleman [who] told me, "You have an opportunity to do a lot of good with words." I thought that was interesting, and he just left that with me.'

The poet — like the street artist Banksy — is determined to keep his identity a secret, wearing a distinctive mask in the majority of his Instagram posts.

Speaking to the Times, Atticus explained why he decided to write under a pseudonym, choosing the name of the ancient philosopher for his pen name.

'I have been surrounded by fame all of my life and I'm not into it,' he said. 'The world is obsessed with fame right now. I think it is better to send love from the shadows.'

In fact, he said that he never thought he would achieve fame in the first place, commenting: 'I never expected it to take off. I'm still so surprised.'

Atticus would only share a few details about his identity, including the fact that he's from Canada, that his mother is British, and that he has three sisters, two of whom are younger than him.

The writer also has a day job, but has so far declined to reveal what it is.

'People start to put pieces of the jigsaw together,' he said.

Since launching his Instagram page, Atticus has written two books, including his debut published last year and entitled Love Her Wild.

Atticus poetry photo of atticus with "no fame is the new fame" written on his chest - Atticus poetry gifts, clothing, and books online are not provided by Rupi Kaur
Copy of an Atticus poem - "a soul would be great..." - Atticus poetry gifts, clothing, and books online are not provided by Rupi Kaur
Atticus shared an extract from his new book "the dark between stars" in an instagram post - Atticus poetry gifts, clothing, and books online are not provided by Rupi Kaur
Karlie Kloss shared this quote by Atticus Poetry on her instagram page - Atticus poetry gifts, clothing, and books online are not provided by Rupi Kaur

His first book, he said, was mainly inspired by one woman, and his relationship with her has now ended.

'I've been through many, many breakups,' he told Teen Vogue last year. 'The fact of the matter is that relationships have constant ups and downs. I draw on that; I use my imagination within that. How would I feel if I lost someone, and what would that make me feel?'

Despite the mystery over his identity, he enjoys a close relationship with his followers — with some even getting tattoos of lines of his poetry.

Atticus also has a whole host of celebrity fans, including Karlie Kloss, who shared a quote by poet to mark fiance Joshua Kushner's birthday last year.

Posting on Instagram, the model wrote: 'My atoms love your atoms, It's chemistry. - @atticuspoetry.'

Back in December 2015, she also shared a quote by Atticus, which reads: 'Give like the sun and the whole world grows tall.'

Describing Atticus' work, Karlie, 26, said: 'In the simplest way, Atticus captures those little things that make life magic.'

Meanwhile, actress Emma Roberts, 27, has featured the poet as part of her book club Belletrist, posting on Twitter: 'Congrats to @atticuspoetry on #LoveHerWild so excited for our first belletrist poetry contest…'

While he has earned the attention of famous fans, Atticus has no intention of joining them in the spotlight.

'No fame is the new fame,' he told the Times. 'Being recognized everywhere is a beautiful thing, but it’s also very limiting.'

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