Scripps College President Lori Bettison-Varga today announced that award-winning spoken word poet and performer Sarah Kay will deliver the College’s 2015 Commencement address on May 16.
“Sarah is an extraordinary poet and educator who has inspired audiences worldwide. Through the work of her organization Project VOICE, Sarah is teaching a new generation of young people the unbridled power and force of spoken word poetry,” Bettison-Varga said. “We proudly welcome Sarah to Scripps College.”
Kay is the founder of Project VOICE, a group that uses spoken word poetry to entertain, educate, and encourage young people. Through award-winning performances and innovative workshops, Project VOICE seeks to promote empowerment, literacy, and empathy in classrooms and communities around the globe. Students come away with a greater sense of confidence in their own voices and with a motivation to share and listen to each other’s stories after attending a workshop.
A featured poet on the sixth season of HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam, Kay has been invited to share her work on such diverse stages as the Malthouse Theater in Melbourne, Australia; Royal Danish Theater in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the United Nations in New York City, among others. She has performed at events in the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, France, Singapore, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, Ghana, the Philippines, Sweden, Spain, Nepal, and India. In all, she has shared works of her spoken word poetry on six continents.
Her 2011 TED conference talk, “If I Should Have a Daughter,” has been viewed more than seven million times online. She is the author of the best-selling book, No Matter the Wreckage (Write Bloody Publishing: 2014), a collection of her poetry. In 2006, she was the youngest competitor at the National Poetry Slam. Kay earned a master’s degree in The Art of Teaching from Brown University and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Grinnell College.
The Scripps Commencement ceremony is scheduled for May 16, 2015. Visit the Commencement 2015 web page for information and updates.