In this TED Talk, spoken-word poet Sarah Kay traces her artistic development and, in so doing, provides a simple formula that applies to all of life’s important and transformational experiments. First is to decide that “I can”, then to commit that “I will” – self-belief and self-motivation. The third step is where the magic happens: it is the ongoing process of finding one’s own style, to make the work reflect one’s true intentions, “to grow and explore and take risks and challenge yourself.” As if to illustrate this lesson, Ms. Kay gives stirring performances of her poems “B” and “Hiroshima”, both of which speak to the tenuousness, uncertainty, and ultimate delight of growing into personhood.


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  • Dani Al-Basir

    I see, the We the wilderness of wisdom her truth inspires as spectrum of color upon the canvas of Life. Peace & Blessings!

  • victoria

    I was inspired by the linguistic grace, the high energy and the utter transparency of this lovely young poet as she swept us along on a journey of intense insight and hope! Victoria Smith Downing!

  • Manisha

    So much wisdom packed into this young, very gifted artist and change-maker! It is inspiring to see Sarah courageously share her story on a global platform. :)

  • Carmen

    She has great positive energy. I like what she said about walking through life while keeping yourself open.

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  • Familiarize yourself with Ms. Kay’s poetry and her Project V.O.I.C.E. (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression), which teaches young people to tell their stories.
  • Think about an activity that is important to you and ask yourself how you can use it to “grow and explore and take risks and challenge yourself.”
  • “Words mean more than what is set down on paper,” wrote poet Maya Angelou. “It takes the human voice to imbue them with the shades of deeper meaning.”  Read a poem out-loud – with real breath, making real sound.

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