Sarah Kay, a graduate of Brown University, was born in New York to a Japanese American mother and a Jewish American father. She began performing poetry at the Bowery Poetry Club in the East Village at the age of 14, joining their Slam Team in 2006. That year, she was the youngest person competing in the National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas. In 2007 Kay made her television debut, performing the poem “Hands” on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. She has performed at events and venues like the Lincoln Center, the Tribeca Film Festival, and at the United Nations where she was a featured performer for the launch of the 2004 World Youth Report.
Although Kay works primarily in spoken word poetry, she has had written poems published in magazines such as Foundling Review, DamselFly Press, and decomP literary magazine.
In 2011, Kay published “B”, a short hardcover book containing the titular poem, which was originally written in 2007. The book features illustrations by Sophia Janowitz.
Let me tell you how I came to know about Sarah Kay. A high school friend posted a picture of the sea with the caption “Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s swept away.” on Instagram.To say I have become obsessed by the said quotation would be an understatement, it just moved me, and I never thought such a phrase could move someone so strongly, and I said to myself, whoever wrote this is a genius and wondered how many of this phrase actually exists. And so I searched where the said quotation came from, then I found out it came from her poem “B”, I immediately ordered a copy at Book Depository. And so I was at the peak of my obsession, I watched every video of her, I have memorized some of her poems especially “Postcards” which I could recite in a heartbeat. I got myself a copy of No Matter The Wreckage, and boy I fell in love harder. That book was perfection! Each of her poem is spot on, something you can relate to one way or another – it was something I have been longing to read. And don’t get me started with how good she is up on stage, she was divine. And I have put in my bookish bucket list to meet her!
I recommend her books to everyone, even the ones who is not into poetry. Because to be completely honest she made me love and respect poetry even more. I wanted to be just like her someday. A girl’s got to dream, right!