Following the success of her breakout poem, “B,” Sarah Kay, in No Matter the Wreckage covercollaboration with illustrator Sophia Janowitz, releases her debut collection of poetry featuring work from the first decade of her career. No Matter the Wreckage presents readers with new and beloved poetry that showcases Kay’s talent for celebrating family, love, travel, and unlikely romance between inanimate objects (“The Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire”). Both fresh and wise, Kay’s poetry allows readers to join her on the journey of discovering herself and the world around her. It is an honest and powerful collection.

I first listened to Sarah Kay’s spoken word poem “If I should have a daughter” thanks to a friend literally forcing me to watch her TED talk, and I fell in love immediately – with the poem, with Sarah, with spoken word poetry.

I wrote poetry for about a minute in middle school – none of it very good, I might add – but I never knew that spoken word poetry could be so powerful. I dove into the archives of places like Button Poetry and Project VOICE, and kept reading and listening and watching.

My favorite poem is Hands, which is included in the book. I actually did an art project on it in college – taking photos of people’s hands, and using it to illustrate the poem on a website.

My favorite new-to-me poem from this collection was the very first poem in the book – Love Poem #137. One line in particular spoke to me. I’ve had it stuck in my head ever since, and it will probably make its way into my vows whenever I get married.

“I will love you with too many commas,
but never any asterisks.”

Sarah Kay’s poetry is a breath of fresh air every time I listen to or read it. All of the poems in here are wonderful and exhilarating to read. The illustrations are absolutely perfect, done by Sophia Janowitz, and make a great addition to the collection. I can’t recommend this collection enough. This is a flat-out five star review from me!

Five stars

If you’d like to pick up a copy, you can do so through Amazon, Indiebound or any other bookseller!

SARAH KAY IS: a New Yorker. a poetry writer and reader. a spoken word poetry teacher. the founder and co-director of Project VOICE. a witty banter enthusiast. a postcard lover. a documentary filmmaker. a foodie. a playwright. a singer. a songwriter. a photographer. a best-selling author of the book B. the author of No Matter the Wreckage. an editor for Write Bloody Publishing. a Gemini. a mediocre driver at best. a musical theater geek. a smoothie expert. the daughter of a Taoist mother and a Brooklynese father. a hapa. less cool than her little brother. an alum of the United Nations International School and a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. an alum of Brown University. an alum of Brown University Graduate School’s Masters Program in the Art of Teaching Secondary English. a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Grinnell College. on facebook here.

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.

4 thoughts on “Review:: No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay”

  1. I’m so glad to see a review for this collection. Sarah Kay is amazing. For me, many of the poems were incredible, but I never connected with others. I think that if I had heard her perform them all, I would have love it more, you know? She brings a lot of life into the poems, and I guess that’s what was missing when I read this collection. I’m not the right person to be left unattended with spoken word poetry on paper, I guess I’m not witty enough to fully appreciate it that way haha. But despite all that, I really liked it and I would totally read more of her work in the future! 🙂

    1. I agree that it’s significantly more powerful with someone reading them, but I loved reading them. Maybe we’ll be able to see them performed someday!

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