2017 Artist in Residence Sarah Kay

Spoken word poet Sarah Kay, our 2017 Artist in Residence, entertained and inspired the thousand-plus-people who attended her performances, workshops and conversations during her two week residency. Her talent for weaving words into poignant, funny and powerful performances dazzled fans new and old and inspired all to find the poet within.


In 2017 Grace Cathedral’s Artist in Residence program welcomed its first poet. Brooklyn-based Sarah Kay, renowned for her spoken word poetry and a top-selling author and international performer, performed at a range of exciting cathedral events. 

  • Sarah shared her gift with a packed house as guest preacher at The Vine, our new contemporary worship service.
  • She offered a reflection at Tuesday night yoga, our weekly class that draws 700 participants.
  • She joined eight acclaimed poets for Exalted Verse, a spectacular night of poetry presented in partnership with Litquake.
  • Sarah preached at Evensong, our service of stunning choral music, performing her poem “Ghost Ship” as part of her homily.   
  • She wowed the crowd at a 60 minute live solo show, bringing them to laughter and tears.
  • Sarah worked with school groups and organizations around San Francisco like the cathedral’s own Cathedral School for Boys, Glide and De Marillac Academy through workshops designed to promoting empowerment and empathy through the spoken word. 
  • She was the guest at two enlightening and inspiring Forum conversations with Dean Malcolm Clemens Young and Jack Boulware, co-founder of Litquake.

If you weren’t able to see Sarah perform enjoy the photos and videos of her residency below. You can also read “The Gift,” Sarah’s poem she wrote while at the cathedral.



Sarah Kay
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About Sarah Kay

Sarah has shared her poetry in venues and classrooms around the world. She is perhaps best known for her talk at the 2011 TED conference that has been viewed over ten million times. Sarah holds a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching from Brown University, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Grinnell College. Her first book, “B” was ranked #1 Poetry Book on Amazon. “No Matter the Wreckage,” is also an Amazon Bestseller in American Poetry. Other poems and articles have been published in CURA Magazine, The Writer Magazine, Thrush, Treehouse Magazine, Union Station Magazine, the Huffington Post, CNN.com and many more. She has performed for the Tribeca Film Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and the United Nations. 

She is the founder and co-director of Project VOICE, an organization dedicated to promoting empowerment, improving literacy and encouraging empathy and creative collaboration in classrooms and communities around the world through award-winning performances and innovative workshops. Sarah hails from New York City and has been performing her spoken word poetry since she was 14 years old. 

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