Sarah Kay —
Sarah Kay's Way with Words

Sarah Kay says that listening is the better part of speaking. A spoken word poet who’s become a role model for teenagers around the world, she shares how she works with words to make connections — inside people and between them.

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is a spoken word poet and founder/co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E. She's the author of B.

Pertinent Posts

Selected Poems

Poems You Heard in the Show

From Kay's 2008 performance at the Bowery Poetry Club, and more intimate and relaxed presentation of her performance at TED2011. What's your take?

Kay's poem that ended our show, as performed at The Nantucket Project in 2011.

Kay's poem about Noor Ebrahim in South Africa as taken from her performance at the Acumen Fund's *spark! event in New York City

About the Image

Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye perform at Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles in 2011.

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I enjoy listening to your show, while I work in my art studio, I especially enjoyed the program today with Sarah Kay it was so inspiring and interesting.I hope you continue doing this good work for many many years, it truly is appreciated.

I had the opportunity to listen to Sarah Kay's wonderful poem about Noor Ibrahim. I have been to District 6 when just a remnant of the Indian neighborhood remained. Her story about the museum reminded me of the small museum that used to be in St. Paul's church in NY near the World Trade Center that briefly commemorated the rescue efforts. I could not bear to be inside for long and went outside, leaned against the iron fence and nearly collapsed crying. How could such terrible things like the bombing of the WTC or destruction of District 6 occur due to political orthodoxy? As you might guess from my last name, I am Jewish; I walked into a church; District 6 was mixed. Her poem brought that same grief and tears into my eyes. It was the same grief I felt during the wars in the former Yugoslavia when mixed communities were slaughtered or chased at gunpoint into ethnic enclave. I remembered, then, not the violence of apartheid but its terrible wastefulness and loss of human contact. I wanted to buy a 'black' record and it could only be purchased in a 'black' designated district where I could go. It was just a record but also a sign of how total the violence forced against daily life, like the public bath that no longer existed after the destruction of District 6. Thank you four presenting her work, listening to the Tshotshaloza song and the chance to re-experience my connecting grief about our world. May we live together in peace.

I send you love and blessings to encourage your effort to contain your grief. I suspect you are bearing the grief of this world, which goes way beyond your own personal grief, and it is a service to humanity to bear more than your own. May the unconditional love at the heart of this creation surround you and protect you throughout the night and throughout each day.

When I was listening to Sarah Kay’s Poem “Tshotsholoza” about Noor Ebrahim in South Africa and his 50 pigeons returning to the empty plot of land after being set free as if they were asking where is our home, I immediately thought of the words of one our your earliest guest in the interview Desmond Tutu’s God of Surprises when he describes the feeling of freedom after Apartheid, but specifically about the true meaning of Freedom. Mr. Tutu spoke about the preposition “from” – you are free from and then you are free “for”. He described South African’s having gone from being free from, which turns out to be one of the slightly easier things to get to do, although it took so long, however, the being free for, he mentions is the toughest part. So what is the free “for” turns to be the most important question!
Sarah’s poem evoked the same type of question in me. Although I am apparently free in this country/world, I often wonder like those pigeons in her poem… where is my/our true home? In terms of spiritual freedom, eternity, heaven, peace. I wonder if this is what Sarah is alluding to in her poem.
Marvelous work, Sarah is one of the finest. Thank you Krista for giving us such high quality programs with teachings, education, and entertainment. I highly admire your work!

I just heard this while feeding my dog early on Sunday morning. I have a friend from Capetown who was just in a film , MATERIAL, the movie that has at it's core a family struggle that happened in District 6 and will send the link to London. I liked what Sarah said about taking care with language, not something people do that often and was just happy my dog got me up an hour earlier than usual so I both can enjoy the sun and early morning and think about the show I just heard.
many thanks.

Great show! Sarah is extraordinary. Hope she doesn't lose her freshness under all her publicity.

How can I download show w/o MP3? I'm non-tech w/ just plain pc.



This presentation wound up on my podcast player. I wasn't sure I wanted to hear it. A young contemporary poet. But I was driving and it wasn't convenient (safe) to hit the "next" button. And. despite myself, I was captivated.

Great presentation! From there, it was off to TED to hear her TED talks.

I'm moved. Awed. And humbled.

It is disappointing that young people require a role model to be nearly as young as they are. But it's not their fault - in our culture, young is good and old is bad. It is all of us who failed to say NO to that for years now.

I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to have elders as my role models.
The young can only learn so much from other young people, They need the wisdom of the 40+ generation pf artists.

I enjoy your show