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B [Hardcover]

Sarah Kay
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

29 Nov 2011
In 2011, Sarah Kay performed her poem “B” at the TED conference in Long Beach, California to standing ovations. Now the video of that performance has been forwarded to mothers and daughters (and fathers and sons) all over the world. Originally written in 2007, “B” is a thank you note, a love letter, a wish, a promise, a confession, and a secret. With beautiful illustrations by Sophia Janowitz, “B” is finally available in this whimsical, magical book.

This book is the perfect gift for every mother and every daughter. Short, touching and lovingly illustrated, it is a family tradition waiting for you to start.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: The Domino Project (29 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612182798
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612182797
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 12.7 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Amazon Review

A Q&A with Sarah Kay

Question: How old were you when you started writing poetry?

Sarah Kay: I’ve been making poems since I could string words together. Before I knew how to write, I used to follow my mother around the house and yell, "Poem!" until she found a pen and paper to write down my dictation. I think that’s why she taught me how to write early on, so I would stop making her do it for me.

Question: Are your parents poets? Did they influence your interest in poetry?

Sarah Kay: From kindergarten through fourth grade I brought my lunch to school with me every day. And every day for those five years, one of my parents wrote me a poem and tucked it in my lunchbox. It was usually on a colored piece of paper, folded in half. They were short poems that were sort of Dr. Seuss-y or Shel Silverstein-esque. They made poetry something to look forward to. Each note was a story, a message, a secret, a rhyme; each note made me stop whatever I was doing and surrender to the surprise inside. I don’t think either one of them considers themselves poets, but they definitely gave me a hunger (wink!) for poetry.

Question: Did you always perform your poetry?

Sarah Kay: Absolutely not. All of my early poetry was strictly journal poetry. I had terrible stage fright and never wanted to be in the spotlight. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I discovered Spoken Word Poetry at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. I was adopted by a wonderful community of poets and even though my stage fright didn’t disappear, the reward of being part of such an amazing group of people was enough to drown out the fear.

Question: What did your mother say when she first heard your poem, "B"?

Sarah Kay: I had a really hard time writing that poem. When I finally finished it, I called my mother on the phone from my freshman dorm at college and read the entire thing to her. I was really emotional by the end of it. When I finished the last line, I waited to hear what she would say. After a long pause she said, "That’s nice, Missy. Can you read me the beginning again? I think I heard a grammatical error." That’s why I love her. She’s very practical.

Question: What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you on stage?

Sarah Kay: I travel around the country performing and teaching Spoken Word Poetry in schools with Phil Kaye and Project V.O.I.C.E. It’s exhausting and exhilarating, and I count my blessings every day that I get to do what I do. A lot of really cool things happen on stage. The coolest? A couple of years ago we performed at a middle school in Southern California. It was the first time we had ever performed there and it was the first time anyone in the school had ever seen Spoken Word. We were nervous about it, because it was a pretty conservative school, but everyone really enjoyed themselves. The next year, we were invited back to the same school. Halfway through our performance, we asked if anybody in the audience had a poem they wanted to share and a little boy came bolting up onto the stage. He didn’t even raise his hand. When he got up there he said, "I wrote this poem the day after you left last year. I’ve been waiting all year for a chance to perform it for you." That was the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me on stage. Second place would probably be getting a standing ovation at the TED conference. Although at the time I didn’t think it was cool. I was just freaking out. I was worried that the audience was clapping for too long and was terrified that they were taking up too much time. TED is very strict about time limits. I was convinced I would be pulled off stage.

Question: Who is Sophia Janowitz? And why illustrations?

Sarah Kay: Sophia Janowitz is my oldest friend. When we were three months old, we had our first playdate in the park in our neighborhood. We’ve been friends ever since. When we were little, we used to make art projects together. I would tell Sophia stories and Sophia would make amazing art out of whatever random material was around. When we graduated college, we moved into an apartment together in Brooklyn and returned to our childhood practice of project-making. When I decided to make "B" into a book, I wanted it to be more than just a transcript of the poem. I really wanted it to be its own object, with its own personality. I knew Sophia was the woman for the job. Thank goodness she said yes.

Question: Last question. What color rain boots do you have?

Sarah Kay: My last pair was black with white polka dots. My mother found them for me at one of the stores at Union Square in New York City. But they have sprung a few leaks. Maybe I need a new pair.


About the Author

Plenty of 14-year-old girls write poetry. But few hide under the bar of the famous Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan’s East Village absorbing the talents of New York’s most exciting poets. Sarah Kay also had the guts to take its stage and hold her own against performers at least a decade her senior. Her talent for weaving words into poignant, funny, and powerful performances haunts the heart. Now 23, Kay is a successful Spoken Word poet and educator, who co-directs Project V.O.I.C.E. (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression). Founded by Kay in 2004, Project V.O.I.C.E. encourages people to use Spoken Word poetry as a tool for personal and world understanding, and a medium for vital expression.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars B 9 Feb 2012
By Nik
Format:Hardcover
This is a wonderfully smart edition which is filled with pleasing illustrations and is wonderfully set out... If you were reading it to child or just wanted a nicely laid out version of a good poem by one of the greatest poets that I have come across so far. Honestly, when I discovered Sarah Kay I all but fell in love with her and the voice that she gives to her words is incredible, she kick started a passion for spoken word and has been nothing but good for me since. However, 'B', whilst I knew was the title of a poem that she had wrote, I also thought was the title of a collection by her and whilst I appreciate the quality of this edition, I was gutted to find that it is just the one poem which I enjoy very much, but I wasn't happy paying five pounds for what I could have listened to on youtube for free. I've since looked back to see whether I mis read the product description but there isn't anything to say that this is just one poem so I disappointed to find that this book offered no further insight than what a quick youtube search could. The book is almost as beautiful as Sarah herself but its layout lacks the voice which if it had been laid out in formal stanzas, I dont think it would have. I still like the poem, and if I ever get to meet Sarah at the bowery, I would ask her to sign it to really make it something special, and I would have happily paid more for it in that case, but as this is not the case, I feel that I have paid a tad too much, for what is essentially an expensivly laid out work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and touching 31 Jan 2013
By Katy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
the poem itself wasn't a big surprise (obviously I knew it practically by heart already) but the book is so nice and beautiful and the illustrations are just delicious. Definitely a book i am happy to own now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just beautiful! 6 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beautifully written, lovely illustrations. I sit and read this with my 8 year and it has ignited a passion for poetry in her.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I bought 5 copies so far... 28 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first saw Sarah Kay perform this beautiful poem on her TED talk (TED.COM). I was touched, moved and inspired. I realised that I needed to give my friends a copy after telling them about how wonderful the poem was, it just seemed cruel not to.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet 13 Jan 2014
By Eoin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sentiment is a beautiful thing was used correctly and this is a well put together piece of writing. A little sketchy in places but it leaves you with a warm feeling inside so I guess it hits the mark. Read and enjoy.
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