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Poet Sarah Kay inspires students

Aina Katsikas, Reporter

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“Poetry is like pooping. If there’s a poem in you, it needs to come out,” said poet and best-selling author, Sarah Kay, to students on Feb. 9.

“I loved how well she connected with us. She has such a great sense of humor and is a very strong and inspiring role model,” said senior Tiffany Nakama-Fukuhara.

Kay, who calls herself a “spoken-word poet,”  presented a number of her poems with love and coming-of-age themes to sophomores, juniors and seniors at a morning assembly in the auditorium.

“A lot of them (students) just really felt inspired by someone so real. I think there was a sense that poetry is accessible. We have this idea of it (poetry) being this sort of static thing on a page but hers was very accessible,” English department chair, Jill Sprott, said.

Kay, a graduate of Brown University, is the founder and co-director of “Project VOICE,” a program aimed at “promoting empowerment, improving literacy and encouraging empathy and creative collaboration in classrooms and communities around the world.”

“The thing that most impressed me with Sarah Kay was her command of language and how she was able to tell stories and use words and create images from words that we don’t always use in our everyday language. I liked that she was telling stories through this poetic way and you could really identify with the images that she presented,” science teacher Joseph Lyons said.

Kay spoke at the TED 2011 Conference in Long Beach, Calif. and has performed internationally in places such as Singapore, Australia, the UK and Spain.

Annually, Iolani School sponsors a literary professional for the Keables Chair. This year it’s Sarah Kay who spent a little over a week teaching creative writing and poetry to 5th and 6th graders and upper school students at Iolani School before the morning presentation to Academy students.

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The Voice of Sacred Hearts Academy
Poet Sarah Kay inspires students