Congratulations to Creative Writing Teacher Moira Egan on Prestigious Award!

Moira Egan and Damiano Abeni won the 4th edition of the Benno Geiger Poetry Prize by the Giorgio Cini Foundation for their translation of Charles Wright's work "Donzelli Poesia".  


The "Benno Geiger" Poetry Translation Prize in 2017 is a prize established in 2014 by the Giorgio Cini Foundation in memory of the Austrian Literature Benno Geiger, whose literary fund for years has been preserved and valued on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Moira Egan and Damiano Abeni won with a translation of the work "Italy" by Charles Wright (Donzelli Poesia) and a cash prize of 4,000 euros.


Moira Egan e Damiano Abeni vincono la quarta edizione del Premio per la traduzione poetica “Benno Geiger” indetto dalla Fondazione Giorgio Cini con l’opera “Italia” di Charles Wright (Donzelli Poesia).


il Premio per la traduzione poetica “Benno Geiger” 2017, riconoscimento istituito nel 2014 dalla Fondazione Giorgio Cini in memoria del letterato austriaco Benno Geiger, il cui fondo letterario da anni è conservato e valorizzato sull’Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore. Moira Egan e Damiano Abeni hanno vinto con la traduzione dell'opera “Italia” di Charles Wright (Donzelli Poesia) un premio in denaro del valore di 4.000 euro.

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Keats-Shelley House Poetry Prize Awarded to St Stephen's Tenth Grade Student Cristina Rizzo!

Congratulations to St Stephen's tenth grader Cristina Rizzo for having won one of the prestigious Keats-Shelley House Poetry Prizes this year in the category Poems in English age 14-18. This award comes on the heels of her having won one of the two Poetry Prizes conferred by the St. Stephen's Arts Department, as well as three Scholastic Writing Awards this year! That's quite an accomplishment! The award ceremony takes place tomorrow, June 6th, at Piazza di Spagna.


Cristina's poem for which she won the Keats-Shelley House Poetry Prize is below. 


Cristina Rizzo


                 After Wilfred Owen


Spleens are thrust on the ground,

While legs squelch through

Lakes of cardinal red.


Rough metals clank and cut

Through clumps of contracting

Muscles, tissues.


Blades taste like ice

On the shivering skins

Of those


Who’ve feebly fought

For fathers

For fatherlands


Which few will

Fail to satisfy

And exalt.


While out will come others,

Not braver men,

But perhaps on better terms with chance,


Who’ll lie, alive, in luscious,

Luxurious praises and gains

But whose minds will have broken.


Therefore I give these words

To whoever lies in the mud,

Both in the body and in the mind.

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What Are You Reading this Summer?

The 2017 Spring/Summer version of the Cortile is now online! Here's a note from Eric Mayer, our Head of School, about what's in store in this wonderful issue!


As another school year comes to a close, we thought the best send off for the summer holidays was a collection of short stories, poems, and non-fiction submitted by current students, faculty, alumni and parents. The Spring/ Summer issue of The Cortile is a true showcase of the impressive array of talent from our eclectic and multifaceted community. 


We invite you to start this delightful edition with a read through an exceptional collection of poetry and creative writing, which is introduced by Creative Writing teacher, poet, translator and editor Moira Egan. She leads with several inspiring and intriguing poems of her own, such as La boite à violon {1923}, in which her eloquent use of words simply transform the luxurious and sumptuous sound of the violin. Through Egan’s work, the reader is transported vicariously through time to various scenes, each elaborately and carefully detailed so as to bring a sense of tranquillity and peace, which both define and underscore her talent. Egan’s students follow with strong creative writing pieces and poetry that display the depth of Egan’s presence as a guide to the craft. The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Andrea Peniche ’19, though not to the exclusion of others, is one such example. She shares a different perspective on a timeless story by artfully reframing the narrative, this time told through the eyes of the wolf! The section ends with ekphrastic poems written by students interpreting various works by American artist Edward Hopper (1882-1967), which highlights their visual approach to writing. 


In Part II, Transitions, we meet characters who are at a crossroads—both cultural and social— through engaging pieces from three alumnae. St. Stephen's Trustee Tina Rocchio '85 adeptly explores the theme of cultural estrangement and detachment in her preface to an exhibition titled, A Roman Experience, Reflections on Immigration, Isolation and Otherness. In an excerpt of 1978 alumna Rachel Cantor’s novel Good on Paper, we encounter a woman on the precipice of a career boost, whereas Elizabeth Canning Blackwell ’86 delves into the social aspect of new beginnings through an excerpt from her book In the Shadow of Lakecrest.


We arrive at other examples of creative writing talent from our student body in Part III, Poetry & Musings. Students of IB English teacher Dr. Livia Sacchettti display great skill and mastery. Their poetry can be read throughout the year in Ink, a publication where students create work that is original and self-expressive—enhanced once again by the proficiency and expertise of their teacher Dr. Sacchetti. We are thrilled to have this imaginative collection of poetry grace the pages of this issue. The section concludes with a wonderful essay by Sophia Bare ’20, a recipient of the Gold Key 2017 National Writing Award. She is a rising tenth-grader and a student of Edward Steinberg, teacher of English and co-editor of The Cortile. Her piece is The Secret Goldfish by D.B. Caulfield. 


St. Stephen’s parent Andrew Kneale presents an aspect of Rome’s Medieval history in a detailed account that will soon be published in the new book, Rome: A History in Seven Sackings.In Part IV, War & History, we jump from Rome in the Middle Ages to two student pieces about the impact of war: Buttons by Katie Bono ’18 and The Little Boy in Iraq by Morgan Shenaut’18. 


Our non-fiction offerings include real-life episodes from an ABC soundman and alumnus, who spent time in 1980s conflict-ridden Beirut to an essay on China’s one-child policy and a personal story of what it was like getting to know 1950s idol, James Dean. We end this special issue with an alumni tribute. This year the School launched its first Alumni Recognition Award and selected its first recipient, Dr. Peter Gregersen, for his accomplishments and contribution in the field of medicine. 


We also acknowledge the passing of an admired member of the alumni community, Barb Devine ’77, an energetic adventurer who loved the far away and exotic; she will be missed by many. Lastly, we congratulate the Class of 2017. Seventy-eight seniors graduated on Friday, May 26th and are about to embark on diverse paths that will open new doors and limitless possibilities. We hope their next chapter will continue to be filled with passion and curiosity for learning, discovery and exploration. 


So what will you be reading this summer?

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