Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you two related? Or married?
A: We get asked these questions a lot. Here are the facts:
- Sarah Kay is a half-Japanese, half-Jewish Spoken Word Poet who grew up in New York City, and has a younger brother named Philip Kay.
- Phil Kaye is a half-Japanese, half-Jewish Spoken Word Poet who grew up in Orange County, California, and has a younger sister named Aurora Sarah Kaye.
- Phil and Sarah met for the first time when they both showed up to perform Spoken Word in the Freshmen Talent Show as first-years at Brown University.
- Some of Sarah's cousins live in Orange County, and a few of them knew Phil in high school or on the basketball court.
- One summer, while she was visiting her cousins in California, Sarah joined the Newport Beach Junior Lifeguards Program, a summer camp of over 1,000 kids that has a morning session and an afternoon session. Phil, a native of the area, was also enrolled in the program. Sarah and Phil had the same camp counselor, but Sarah attended morning session and Phil attended afternoon session, and their paths never crossed.
We have done extensive research, and we promise we aren't related. We also promise we aren't married. Or dating. Or ever plan on dating. Many people have pondered this bizarre set of circumstances in search of meaning, but the most likely explanation is that we have stumbled across a wrinkle in the Universe, and are two sides of the same coin. At least, that's how we figure.
Q: I am a high school student, and I would like to perform one of your poems for my speech/debate/drama club/team/competition. Can I have permission to perform your poem? Can you tell me where I can find the complete text?
A: Yes you can. No we can't.
You absolutely have permission to perform any of our pieces, we are happy that you enjoy them! Unfortunately, a lot of our pieces don't have available texts online, at this time.* Plenty of them are online in video form (on youtube), and if you have the patience to transcribe, then you are a champion. But beyond that, we don't have the texts available. Sometimes, (rarely) if you write in, we can find one of them, but more likely, you're on your own. This is something we are trying to work on, and as soon as poem texts are available, we will post them up!
*A lot of our work is written specifically to be performed, and often never even gets written down!
Q: I am a teacher, and I want to bring Spoken Word Poetry into my classroom. How do I start teaching this weird art form?
A: Hire us!
But seriously. This question takes more than a quick answer. We dedicate a ton of our time to figuring out how to teach Spoken Word in the classroom. We build lesson plans and curricula that tackle Spoken Word from different angles. We also spend time training teachers to do what we do, since we can't be in every classroom, and we want to reach as many people as we can. If you are a teacher dedicated to bringing Spoken Word to your students, we salute you! We can't explain all our secrets here, but you can write us emails for specific questions and we'll do our best!
(In the meantime, a principle we believe in, is exposing students to as many different styles and forms of Spoken Word as possible. We love using multi-media when we teach, to give students access to different approaches to Spoken Word. For a cheat-sheet of some of our favorites, you can check out this playlist of Spoken Word Poetry that Sarah put together for YouTube, in celebration of National Poetry Month. This isn't everybody, but it's a good place to start! Warning: the list is rated PG 13!)