Throughout the week of April 20, St. Mark's students, alumni, faculty, and staff participated in Poetry Week, creating, presenting, and sharing poems with the School community.
A Poetry Week page on the St. Mark's website housed recordings of favorite poems recited and original poetry written were all on display. Veteran English teacher Sarah McCann, herself an outstanding published poet, developed poetry contests in a variety of categories for members of the St. Mark's family to demonstrate their talents. The entire week at St. Mark's was conceived as a celebration of the art of poetry.
"Although we could not engage in some of the usual activities of Poetry Week this year," said Ms. McCann, "some new and interesting features were added, including students using an AI poetry-writing program to broadcast a poem on their own portraits! We also received a record number of submissions for our various Poetry Week contests (both individual and collaborative, as well as an alumni contest)."
For the best overall individual poem:
1st place – "Until it is Time to Go Out" by Naila Strong '20
2nd place – "Lullaby for the End of the World" by Janr Dubrova '20
3rd place – "The Void" by Louise He '23
For the best poem by an individual that only uses words beginning with S and M:
1st place – "Sandy Simplicity" by Frances Hornbostel '21
2nd place – "Meaning More" by Kendall Sommers '22
3rd place – "St. Mark's Mornings" by Maeve Ahern '20
For the best collaborative poem about living and working in isolation:
"2001" by Padma Mynampaty '22 and Kendall Sommers '22
For the best poet and artist collaboration:
"Sealed with Gold" by Kendall Sommers '22 and Lily Wang Luo
For the best poem written by an advisory group on food:
"Comforting" by Ms. Marion Donovan, Jiamin Li '22, and Shin Yeong Park '21
For the best poem written by an alumnus/alumna:
1st place – "Reflections on an Uncertain Present" by Nick Noble '76
2nd place – "A Coronapoem" by Finnegan Schick '14
3rd place – "untitled" by Courtney Flynn '09
"I was overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of submissions," declared Ms. McCann. "Despite our school community being spread across the globe, it was a vibrant Poetry Week with poems celebrated in chapel and at school meeting as well. I am so grateful to be in such a creative community."