Spoken-word poet sweeps Serenbe

Features Editor

In a town reminiscent of Big Fish, with its sleepy twinkle lights and tight-knit community, a group of people crowded into a tiny bakery to spend their Friday night listening to spoken word poetry.

Serenbe is a whole world tucked away behind the curves of dirt roads in Palmetto, Ga., and the Blue Eyed Daisy, famous for winning Cupcake Wars in 2012, provided a sweet spot for 25-year-old spoken word poet Sarah Kay to perform. In fact, the Oct. 4 performance marked the beginning of her artist in residence process at Serenbe.

As a New York native, Kay began performing poetry at age 14 in local venues, and now co-directs Project V.O.I.C.E. alongside poet Phil Kaye. Their endeavors have lead them to teach workshops and perform in schools all over the country, as well as giving them the opportunity to speak internationally.

As for the Serenbe performance, Kay treated listener’s ears to eight different poems, including “B,” the poem from her first book with the same name and the piece she performed for a TED talk, “Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire” from her do-it-yourself-style book, and “The Type” from her next book project.

That next project is why she is spending ten days at Serenbe. According to Kay, she is in the process of putting together a manuscript for her first book to contain a collection of her work.

Kay explained what inspired her to write each poem and provided the audience with comedic anecdotes between poems. One story that was a particular hit with the crowd was about how Kay had travelled overseas and saw her face on the cover of the city’s newspaper.

She told how she flipped through the pages to see the article on her performance and was shocked to see a quote from her that read, “Poetry is like pooping. If there is a poem inside of you, it will come out.” The group was roaring from laughter and not a single person’s shoulders were still.

Even during these breaks between poems, Kay’s way of speaking was poetic and engaging. True to her sweet-natured demeanor, Kay took questions after the show and offered to sign books or take pictures with the audience.

The down-to-earth but out-of-this-world poet will continue to make waves in the world of spoken word poetry through Project V.O.I.C.E. and will release her new book No Matter the Wreckage through Write Bloody Publishing in March of 2014.

For more information on Kay, her upcoming shows or to pre-order her next book, visit her website here.