June 26, 2014
Sarah Kay, Brown University alum, is a poet known for her spoken word poetry. Kay is the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E., a group founded in 2004 dedicated to using spoken word as an educational and inspirational tool. She began performing poetry in the East Village at the age of 14, but made her TV debut in 2007 on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. She has performed at venues like the Lincoln Center, the Tribeca Film Festival, the UN, and The Nantucket Project. Sarah published B, a hardcover book containing the titular poem illustrated by Sophia Janowitz, in 2011.
Consenses Interview with Sally Taylor:
What made you want to participate in this project?
The project reminded me of the game I used to play when I was little. Someone draws a head and neck, then folds down the page so you can only see the neck. Then the next person draws the body, and folds down the page so you can only see the end of the torso.
The next person draws the legs or tail… At the end you unfold the paper and have a person or creature or animal that is made up of many people’s imaginations.
Who was hearing the music? (Ex. you now? you as a child? your grandfather? The earth? The sky? A place? A time? Etc)
I was hearing it now. Or perhaps a little bit in the past.
What part/sound of the music informed your interpretation the most?
The dripping water was the first thing I responded to. And the echoing.
What was the story the song told you?
Something important was happening, but it was far away from me. The distance was a key part of the experience.
What thought/image/memory came to you first?
The bathroom door. Then the singing bowl.
How do you normally create your work? How was this experience different?
I usually already have a story in my head. Or some pieces of a story. Something I am already puzzling over. With this, I was a blank slate trying to listen for what story was hiding in the music.
Tell me more about the woman in this poem. (who is she, where, when?)
Technically, you don’t know whether the author of this poem is male or female! It could be either. Both men and women understand what it feels like to be kept outside a closed door.
Tell me about the man.
He is already gone. He may or may not know how much the author longs for him.
Are there certain words or phrases you used which mean something specific to you that the reader might not know?
I grew up with Tibetan singing bowls in the house. The sound is extremely soothing and haunting to me. The act of playing a singing bowl is meditative and spiritual, but it requires concentration and strength.
Extra credit: Did you enjoy this project?
It was tricky. I spent a lot of time thinking about the artist who composed the music. It was important to me to honor his or her work. I hope I did so. But I did enjoy it. Thank you.