Hello, and welcome to my Woman Writer Crush Wednesday! Every week I will showcase a different female author whose work I admire. Since each post will be accompanied by a photo over on our Instagram page, the order of the women I talk about will largely depend on which books are in my proximity. This week, my woman writer crush is Sarah Kay.
If you’ve heard of Sarah Kay before, it’s probably for her spoken word poetry. One day I was watching TED talks on YouTube, clicking from suggested video to suggested video in the sidebar, when I stumbled upon Sarah Kay’s TED talk. In it, she opened up with a spoken word poem entitled “B (If I Should Have a Daughter)”. I was enthralled with her poise and rhythm, and how she seemed to effortlessly jump from one thought to the next without breaking stride. After watching her TED talk, I looked up more of her videos. And through those videos, I found a collection of spoken word artists performances on Button Poetry’s channel. I spent hours watching those performances, utterly enamored. I was never able to get into poetry when assigned analyses in class, but something about spoken word spoke to me. I felt myself relating to people even as they spoke about experiences I had no claim to. I loved it.
So, when I found out last year that Kay had a poetry book out, No Matter the Wreckage, I immediately thought I have to have that. When I finally did get my hands on a copy, I had intended on sitting down and devouring the petite book in one sitting. However, I quickly learned that this is not the type of book you just read all at once. I find that I get the most out of it by skimming through the pages and choosing a poem at random. Sometimes, the poem I land on doesn’t click with me. Sometimes later that same poem will start to mean something. Other times, if I’m lucky, I stumble upon exactly the right poem.