I’ve long been promising a book review of the gorgeous collection of poetry by Sarah Kay, No Matter the Wreckage, and I am happy to say that I have finally gotten around to writing it. Enjoy!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There are some writers and poets that I cannot read without hearing their voice reading along inside my head and Sarah Kay is definitely one of them. To be fair, Sarah is a spoken word poet and her work is meant to be read aloud and performed so her poems and her voice are tightly intertwined. And the fact that I have seen YouTube videos of her performing some of the poems in this collection (including Montauk, Mrs. Ribeiro, Hands, and B) may be partly responsible for the fact that I hear Sarah’s voice every time I read her book. Still, even apart from the performance aspect of the poems, Sarah Kay has a highly developed voice as a writer that I just love.
The poems, (which deal with family, relationships, identity, memory, creativity, Story telling and the interplay between all of these things) are introspective and vulnerable and yet rather than feeling like a peeping tom looking in at Sarah’s most personal moments, I found myself recognizing bits of my own experiences in hers. The poem, Something We Don’t Talk About, Part II, hit me with a devastatingly beautiful sense of recognition that I still haven’t recovered from. And yet, for all the emotional honesty and openness in No Matter the Wreckage, the collection never feels overdone or weighed down, partially due to the gentle humor and playful use of language that is scattered throughout the book.
For some time now I have been waiting and hoping for an opportunity to see Sarah Kay perform in person. And now, having read No Matter the Wreckage, I am also eagerly awaiting her next book of poems. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you pick up this little gem of a book. You won’t be sorry.