Tch Talks 25: Sarah Kay and Project VOICE

Tch Talks

Can teachers use spoken word poetry as a tool for literacy, empowerment, engagement, education, and community building across content areas?

Poet, performer, and educator Sarah Kay says absolutely, YES! Sarah is a founder and co-director of Project VOICE, an organization that uses spoken word poetry to entertain, educate, and inspire. Through Project VOICE, Sarah is dedicated to promoting empowerment, improving literacy, and encouraging empathy and creative collaboration in classrooms and communities around the world.

On this episode of Tch Talks, Sarah discusses the origin story of Project VOICE, her own introduction to spoken word poetry, and her work as a poet, an educator, and a bestselling author. Whether speaking from her heart or from her head, Sarah believes that spoken word poetry can be an important educational tool that will have a lasting positive impact on your students' motivation, creativity, self-esteem, agency, and their desire to share their own stories and listen to the stories of others. Listen in to find out more.

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Sarah KaySarah Kay is a poet, performer, and educator from New York City who has been performing her spoken word poetry since she was 14 years old. She is perhaps best known for her talk at the 2011 TED conference, which garnered two standing ovations and has been viewed over ten million times online. In that talk, Sarah recounts the story of her metamorphosis from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse in New York City, to a teacher who connects young people with the power of self-expression through her organization Project VOICE. A gifted artist and breathtaking performer, Sarah empowers audiences of any age and background to embrace vulnerability, creativity, and community.

Sarah has been invited to share her work on such diverse stages as the Malthouse Theater in Melbourne, Australia; The Royal Danish Theater in Copenhagen, Denmark; the United Nations, Carnegie Hall, and Apollo Theater in New York City; among hundreds of other venues. Sarah holds a Masters Degree in The Art of Teaching from Brown University and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Grinnell College. She is the author of four books of poetry: No Matter the Wreckage (Write Bloody, 2014) - an Amazon Bestseller in American Poetry; B (Hachette Books, 2015) - ranked #1 Poetry Book on Amazon; The Type (Hachette Books, 2016); and All Our Wild Wonder (Hachette Books, 2018). Sarah’s poems and articles have been published in CURA Magazine, The Writer Magazine, Thrush, Treehouse Magazine, Union Station Magazine, the Huffington Post,, and many more.

A passionate educator, Sarah has worked with education organizations like the National Association of Independent Schools, the International Baccalaureate Organization, the European Council of International Schools, the Association of International Schools in Africa, and the American Montessori Society, among many others, in order to further the work of Project VOICE: celebrating and inspiring self-expression, championing vulnerability, aiding empowerment, challenging traditional notions of literacy, and expanding access to arts education. Through her work with Project VOICE, Sarah has taught students of all ages, in classrooms and workshops all over the world. For more about Sarah, check out her website. And click here to find out more about the entire Project VOICE team. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @kaysarahsera.


Sarah Kay:

Tch Videos:

Spoken Word Poetry Resources:

Sarah's newest release, All Our Wild Wonder: A Poem by Sarah Kay, is on sale now! And Sarah will be on tour for her new book through the spring. See the tour dates to find out when she will be in your neighborhood.

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