A performing poet since she was 14 years old, Sarah Kay is the founder of Project VOICE, an organization that uses spoken word poetry as a literacy and empowerment tool.

Why you should listen

Plenty of 14-year-old girls write poetry. But few hide under the bar of the famous Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan’s East Village absorbing the talents of New York’s most exciting poets. Not only did Sarah Kay do that -- she also had the guts to take its stage and hold her own against performers at least a decade her senior. Her talent for weaving words into poignant, funny, and powerful performances paid off.

Sarah holds a Masters degree in the art of teaching from Brown University and an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Grinnell College. Her first book, B, was ranked the number one poetry book on Amazon.com. Her second book, No Matter the Wreckage, is available from Write Bloody Publishing.

Sarah also founded Project VOICE, an organization that uses spoken word poetry as a literacy and empowerment tool. Project VOICE runs performances and workshops to encourage people to engage in creative self-expression in schools and communities around the world.

What others say

“A day with Sarah Kay reminded me of poetry's power to help us make sense of our lives, to see the world in a new way.” — Deb Martin, Rowan University

Sarah Kay’s TED talks

Sarah Kay on the TED Blog
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Live from TED2014

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Quotes from Sarah Kay

I use poetry to help me work through what I don’t understand, but I show up to each new poem with a backpack full of everywhere else that I’ve been.
Sarah Kay
TED2011 • 7.2M views Mar 2011
Inspiring, Beautiful
I want [my daughter] to look at the world through the underside of a glass-bottom boat, to look through a microscope at the galaxies that exist on the pinpoint of a human mind.
Sarah Kay
TED2011 • 7.2M views Mar 2011
Inspiring, Beautiful
It’s not just the adage ‘write what you know,’ it’s about gathering up all of the knowledge and experience you’ve collected up to now to help you dive into the things you don’t know.
Sarah Kay
TED2011 • 7.2M views Mar 2011
Inspiring, Beautiful