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Sarah Kay

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Sarah Kay is an American poet. Known for her spoken word poetry, Kay is the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E., founded in 2004, a group dedicated to using spoken word an educational and inspirational tool.
8 books on the list
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The Book of Delights book cover
The Book of Delights
Ross Gay - 2019-02-12
Goodreads Rating
Discover the little things that bring joy in Ross Gay's The Book of Delights. In this genre-defying collection of essays, Gay takes a clear-eyed view of life's complexities, from being a black man in America to the ecological and psychic violence of consumer culture. His meditations on delight celebrate the beauty of the natural world and the connections we have to each other. This powerful and inspiring book will remind you to find space for joy in your own life.
Sarah Kay
@ChazEngelkes Have you read “Book of Delights” yet? Highly recommend! (I recommend Ross Gay for most situations) Let me think for more joy and smiles. But that book is really lovely as a place to start.      source
Recommended by
Gretchen Rubin
We Were All Someone Else Yesterday book cover
We Were All Someone Else Yesterday
Omar Holmon - 2020-05-12
Goodreads Rating
"We Were All Someone Else Yesterday" by Omar Holmon is a powerful hybrid book filled with poems and essays that delve into the themes of growth and grief. After the loss of his mother, Holmon turns to pop culture as a way to navigate his emotions. The book is a mix of sadness and humor and is accessible to all with its relatable references. This warm and inviting read is a must-read for anyone looking to understand the complexities of life and loss.
Sarah Kay
I had been waiting literal years for @OmarHolmon’s book WE WERE ALL SOMEONE ELSE YESTERDAY, & I already know so many of the poems in it so well, & it *still* surprised me & made me cry. Omar is so talented at braiding humor & grief, it’s masterful.      source
1919 book cover
Eve L. Ewing - 2019-06-04
Goodreads Rating
This impactful book of poetry delves into the historical events surrounding the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, an event that shaped the last century. Eve L. Ewing explores the hidden histories and experiences of everyday people surviving in a divided urban landscape. Her poetic reflections touch on themes of race, class, violence, segregation, and the impact of the event on our present. With an Afrofuturist perspective, Ewing illuminates the thin line between past and present. An important and thought-provoking read.
Sarah Kay
If you do not already own Eve's book 1919, that is something you should add to this list! It is an incredible example of a book of poetry that is immensely moving & powerful, while also being historical & educational !      source
The January Children book cover
The January Children
Safia Elhillo - 2017-03-01
Goodreads Rating
"The January Children" is a collection of deeply personal poems that explores the experience of navigating the postcolonial world as a stranger in one’s own land. The author mythologizes family histories until they break open, using them to explore aspects of Sudan’s history and diaspora. The poems speak to tensions generated by a hyphenated identity in the Arab and African world. It is a postcolonial narrative that is both terrifying and tender, melancholy and defiant.
Sarah Kay
You should absolutely go listen to Safia read this poem in her own voice: & then you should absolutely go purchase Safia's book, which is one of my Hall of Fame favorite poetry books of all time:      source
Good Grief book cover
Good Grief
50th Anniversary Edition
Granger E. Westberg - 2004-01-01 (first published in 1961)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the complexities of grief with this insightful book. Whether it's a small or overwhelming loss, this book will teach you what happens to us when we lose someone or something important. With this volume, you'll have a better understanding of grief and how to move past it. Keep it close at hand to help navigate any variety of grief experiences or to assist friends in finding "good grief."
Sarah Kay
@mafiasafia “Weather’s Here, Wish You Were Beautiful” by @RachelMcKibbens & “Good Grief” by @stevieedwards87 are two of my all time favorite titles (poem/book, respectively)      source
They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us book cover
They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
Hanif Abdurraqib - 2017-11-07
Goodreads Rating
Explores themes of confusion, fear, and loss through the lens of music and culture. From attending a Bruce Springsteen concert after visiting Michael Brown's grave to reflecting on the impact of the Paris nightclub attacks on young Muslims, Hanif Abdurraqib's essays provide a poignant and magnetic view on our world. This collection of previously published and original essays uses music and culture to better understand ourselves and our times.
Sarah Kay
By the way, I can’t possibly recommend this book more highly, & I also request that everyone only take photos of it like this, thank you. 🐺📘      source
Recommended by
Jamie Kilstein
Blood Dazzler book cover
Blood Dazzler
Patricia Smith - 2008-09-01
Goodreads Rating
Experience Hurricane Katrina in vivid detail with Patricia Smith's poetry collection "Blood Dazzler." Following the storm's path from its early days to the heartbreaking aftermath, these poems give voice to those affected, from politicians to survivors to the hurricane itself. Smith's work serves as a heartbreaking reminder of the disaster's impact and a necessary step toward national healing.
Sarah Kay
Patricia Smith's book about Hurricane Katrina, "Blood Dazzler" is full of the most devastating & gorgeous poems. This one haunts me, always.      source
Dark Sparkler book cover
Dark Sparkler
Amber Tamblyn - 2015-04-07
Goodreads Rating
Dark Sparkler is a haunting and provocative collection of poetry that explores the tragic stories of more than twenty-five actresses, from Marilyn Monroe to Brittany Murphy. Written by award-winning actress and poet Amber Tamblyn, this emotionally charged work examines the toll exacted on young women who are offered as starlets. With original artwork commissioned by David Lynch, Marilyn Manson, and other luminaries, Dark Sparkler culminates in an extended confessional epilogue of astonishing candor and poetic command.