Poet Spotlight: Sarah Kay

We’ll be rounding out National Poetry Month with another amazing contemporary poet.

This week’s spotlight: Sarah Kay

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Sarah Kay is a renowned spoken-word poet from New York City. At the age of 28, Kay has a Master of Arts in teaching from Brown University and an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Grinnell College.

She began her writing and performing career at the Bowery Poetry Club in the East Village at the age of 14 and joined their Slam Team in 2006. That year, she was the youngest person to compete in the National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas. She’s gone on to perform at events and venues like Lincoln Center, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the United Nations. She was even a feature performer for the launch of the 2004 World Youth Report.

Photo Courtesy of Emaze.com

She founded and currently directs Project VOICE, which is dedicated to educating and encouraging children in the arts and poetry. She’s given a TED talk and has two collections available, No Matter the Wreckage and B. No small feat for someone of her age.

Sarah Kay will undoubtedly be a voice to remember from our generation as she explores the beauty in life and finds light in the darkness with her poetry.

Here are some excerpts from Kay’s works to get you started:

“And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say, ‘Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.'” 

“When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say ‘thank you,’ ’cause there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” 

“Let them see what a woman looks like. They may not have ever seen one before. If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch, you can let them touch you. Sometimes it’s not you they are reaching for. Sometimes it is a bottle. A door. A sandwich. A Pulitzer. Another woman. “

“Forgive yourself for the decisions you have made, the ones you can still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night.” 


This post concludes National Poetry Month poet spotlights! Be sure to let us know who some your favorite poets are in the comments or on Twitter!