1. Home
  2. Digital Cortile
  3. Cortile 2021
  4. A Selection of Creative Writing

In the Creative Writing classes, we read of course, but it’s the writing that is our main focus. During this unprecedented time of covid and quarantine, of isolation and silence, St. Stephen’s writers continue to produce remarkable, imaginative work. From Harare to Hades, from the elemental to the interior, from the artists of the Renaissance to the fragrant fields of last May, Creative Writing students take themselves and their readers on fantastic journeys.

I am sure that you will enjoy the work of these students -- just as much as we enjoy discussing the early drafts and ongoing ideas in the Creative Writing workshop. Bon voyage!

Moira Egan

Creative Writing Teacher

Harare 2002

Juliet Bel, Grade 12

(After “Elephants” by Carol Ann Duffy)


When I was a kid

I imagined that when I was born

I was not delivered by a stork

but by the trunk of an elephant.


I could all but feel the rough skin

wrapped so gently around me,

the soft swaying of a trunk,

the thuds of giant feet on the Zimbabwe plains.


I imagined they found me

in a tree by where they would bathe,

their skin still slick with the water

walking over fences and fields.


I used to imagine that when they found

someone they trusted

to take their strange charge,

they gave me an elephant's funeral.


I imagined they covered me

in a loving tomb

of palm fronds and foliage,

a baby no longer theirs.


Emma Cardillo, Grade 10

Change glides in,

incising a slit

into the chilly navy sky.

The bead of luminescence

slides through the night carpet.


Little twigs checkered into

their own delicacy.

April mornings curtain the light

onto blush petals.


they slip open:

overflowing with pigmented hope,

rich with the sweet scents of spring.

Enchanted by the charm of the sun,

their cocooned little skirts open up,

unveiling their champagne color.

Venetian spirit

Emma Cardillo, Grade 10

The month has come,

hence the days to party have begun.

Here we know it as a festival with crazy spaces,

in ancient Venice it was a time of hiding faces.

As they did, we’ll walk streets with high spirits

and glide through the city with twirls and pivots.

Without any knowledge of who is who;

cluelessly roaming, not discerning what’s false and what’s true,

we’ll talk and perceive with our eyes

until the ecstatic party spirit dies.

Like in the city of water, a silhouette enters:

pitch black, creeping the streets he ventures.

A bird like mask meant to scare away illness,

disease in the air should have been trapped in utter stillness.

His pointed beak stabs the livelihood of the festival,

shutting out our speech now barely perceptible.

His heavy mask made him a monster,

black hat, eerie presence...they called him the plague doctor.

A figure like that was meant to kill evil,

push away mad spirits and all that was lethal.

But today our life is not so;

bodies drop dead, we come and we go.

A plague just like that of great Venice,

a catastrophe splitting society, to our people a menace.

The difference between now and then,

is the hanging shadow of ruthless death.

An orange flower

Ilaria Chen, Grade 11

I wish you could smell

the orange flower

when the clouds turn cold

It licks off the moonlight

weight on its petals

and sips the nutrients of gloom

dusts the bugs who too

napped for four sun cycles

and drooled all over its abundant



Two echoes away

dozens of honeybees

carrying baskets on their backs

fly around in the black-blue fog

Their wings circadian

and their senses hone


Six minutes in

the sky is painted with gold

dust and rain

An orange flower bathes

in juice and sings

to the brim


Ilaria Chen, Grade 11

If you, @Dr.faust, could become anyone,

who would you become?


I would become I myself,

for what is the need to become

someone else?

I @Dr.faust am the favorited

son, the sun of my people

and the song of their hearts. I,

@Dr.faust, am the one on

your screen, your eyes mine

and mine benign like the color

of a lit skyline- is that not enough?

I @Dr.faust am the persona

of the Mona Lisa, I am the mirror

of beauty, desire, lust: Roma.

I am the only face

you face every day, the one

you love, the one you like,

swipe-right, excited.

I, yours, mine, I

am the one to blow you

kisses at night, I

am your messenger

from the skies,

I, yours, my

hair, lips, intertwined,

I, your




Is that not enough?

Watch my likes grow

like twines by night,

watch my people

gift me gifts delighted

at my hiss of thanks

and no more;

watch my persona

fly like a kite

bit by a dog,

watch my hair, lips,

intertwine like vines:

loss of foresight.

Watch, hear the applause

of mine and taste the grace

I behold, for I, and only I,



@Dr.faust am I.



Phoebe Ciocca, Grade 10

I follow the aisle

you etched between

the green.

The pavement is soft,

trampled flowers

that I’ll trample again

to find you.

The wispy grass

strokes my hands

as I brush through it,

as it grazed yours

and scratched

and hacked.

True blades,

they cut you down.

Your trail ends here.

where you left me

for below.

You won’t come up


til the moon faces me

thrice more.

By then the flowers

will regrow.


Phoebe Ciocca, Grade 10

You’re centered in their frame

pearled gates opened

for you


like children’s bubbles




before I reach.

And you soar above cotton


that tickle my ankles-

they call me down.


We watch you dance

with honeyed rays.

The sky in all its lenience

drapes you in its



I lie amongst white petals
cushioned in the green.


Your laughter

reaches out,

hoists me in the dream.


But as I bow

to warmth

in this celestial ceremony 


winds draw clouded curtains.


Your only trace

a rosy blemish on my



Riccardo Crocetta, Grade 9

The water violently beats the tall body of the rocky wall,

expanding with a scream

retracting with a whisper.

Again and again, every time more abrasive

again and again, overflowing

an exhibit as violent as death

that seems to turn the scene into something alive

from numb to absolute

from perished to blossoming.


Riccardo Crocetta, Grade 9

The intermittent wind keeps hitting

it never stops,

sometimes viciously persistent

other times lullingly gentle

and in the middle of the whole

stands a mountain

tall, able to elevate itself higher than the fog,

it stands robust, it looks immense.

The wind strikes and strikes,

but it gets bogged

and yet it strikes and strikes,

it doesn't stop, like a mortally wounded beast desperately fighting on

it slowly seeps into the cracks.

The silent shrieks of the colossus breaking can be heard

withering within

consuming in itself

until the mountain will be no more


Ameli De Schepper Von Thungen-Reichenbach, Grade 9

Where shall I go,


Stomp, when I feel utterly lost.

How do I move,


Think without having your hand in mine?

I am lost.


My world was flat, you have now made it a


You drive me insane yet I do not know how I feel.

I have nothing but rage and confusion coiling in my veins,

My veins, how could I forget?

You have turned my veins into demanding vessels,

They siphon out all common sense,

They simply yearn for you.


I am dancing in a field of daffodils,

The golden flowers follow my every move,

Longing to join my feeling of movement, of merriment.

They eye me but I do not care.

I am at sea. I am in the garden's koi pond.

I am swimming between red koi,

As they zip past me, surrounding me as if I were drowning in a fire,

Their black dots threaten the love, the red.

I cannot breathe, yet it is breathtaking, and I can’t stop staring.

They lure me, as English roses do to gardeners.

You are my red carnation and my anemone,

And all I ask of you

Is to give me a jonquil.


Lixuan Du, Grade 9

The original Chinese version of the poem was written by the poet Meng Haoran during the Tang Dynasty.






Spring Morning

Spring. Waken to an already bright day. All around. Tweet, tweet, the birds sing as they play.

Rain. Last night’s drizzle with the gentle breeze. How many fragrant flowers did the wind seize?

The End

Lixuan Du, Grade 9

Deafening roar softened by song

from aeons ago

Moon frozen and oath torn apart

Timid rhino fret and turns to stone


Feared zero has come.


Comfort, Discomfort, Danger all gone

Boredom, Annoyance nowhere to be found

The time has come

What used to be fiction is now reality*

Our beating heart is slowing down




This is the End.


Tatiana Kneale, Grade 11

I’ll go to the gym once or twice in a week,

spare two hours each time

from the greater half I spend asleep.


Run, then stretch, then on to the floor.

My face, fire-red in the morbid mirror.


Let the oppressive blue plastic mattresses

be the judge of me.

I can feel the heat of their gaze,

from my head to my foot, upon me.


Those stacked up so orderly,

like the tiers of the birthday cake

that I ate,

that’s still seared in my memory.


I was three.


But it still makes its home on me.

In the great beefy bulges of fat

that fester on in my arms, in my thoughts,

and on these bones I’d happily break

if it would take some of the weight

off this vessel I’ve been restricted to all my life,

In which I’ll likely die.


Tell me, will they bury me?

The friends who mocked my physiognomy,

peeled back every layer

of hope I’d kept as a shield

to my unforgiving insecurities.

Am I likely to forget that humiliation?


Not quite.


But I wonder what they can see as right

in their nit-picking austerity

They might even think they’re helping me.

But it isn’t very comforting.

And the pillowed-out bulge of my stomach

is not soft

as it ought to be.


Tatiana Kneale, Grade 11

I like things neat.


Carefully, I keep,

every object I own in order.


Under the surveillance

of two unrested eyes,

I keep trained, a world,

in rhythm and time,

entirely mine.


The books that line my shelves,

from left to right,

in colour and kind,

and alphabetised,

are my domain.


Why the cushions

on the couch

in my living room

must be fluffed

three times a day,

I’ll never know.


But, that the crude

clump of laundry,

freshly washed and folded

in my living room, however new,

will never do,


is an absolute truth.


The dawn of every day

sees the creation

of fresh new rituals

for me to pursue:


take a ruler to the roses,

so their stems might

stand straight too.


Clandestine, I crawl

in the wake of an habitual ideal,

which, to chase, is to feel.


So I will continue to.

To divide up my food,

by colour, cradling

every bit of control I can foster.


I, the imposter,

will keep spotless,

a world, that listlessly,

Tirelessly, faultlessly,


Will forever be lost to me.


Asia Magrone, Grade 9

I stand upon the unwoven grass,

a juniper-colored grass

that hugs my bare feet

the rain soaks the ground on which I stand

the holy water bathes my hair

the gray above is clear, all the clouds have sought shelter in my mind


I sit in the growing grass

an olive-toned grass

the wind travels in between the naked branches

It hides in between the blooming daisies

the sounds wrap a blanket around my shivering heart

the tune of the wind and the melody of the grass


I lay underneath the tall grass

a grass covered in an emerald shine

a grass that is now warm

It whispers sweet words in my ears sweet words

and whilst the sun kisses my cheeks

the world spins as I fall asleep

In the grass that grows.


Asia Magrone, Grade 9

The footsteps were many countless puddles left behind

in the soil beneath.

A summer's day of despair, they would call it,

With the hot humid air floating alongside the clouds.

Until, all at once, the inhalation of such air

Crushes the lungs-

Without leaving room for any feeling of mere excitement

For a sunny summer day.

And the feet dive into the earth once again,

The worms and bugs whine for help,

Their shrills deafening

And their fainting heartbeat a distant echo.

Your summer slippers remain dark, with the blood of the bugs.

But You don’t look behind. 

You look at the lady dancing in the field.

She looks splendid with her braided hair, almost unreal.

Barefoot she sways, humming a familiar sound.

Her white dress drapes on the ground as she come closer,

Her aura emits a vibrant sunshine of warmth

she welcomes you in her arms

As a mother holds her baby, she holds your head on her chest

And fills your eyes with sleep

As she becomes a part of your soul, forever within your skin.

For the time has come

For you to dance in the field.

Airplanes and Half-Empty Paint Palettes

Amie Njie, Grade 9

It was raining

The day you left.

You leave behind three half-empty

Paint palettes--

Or are they half full?

From those same palettes you used

To make those paintings--

Telling stories that only

Made sense in your head.

I’ll paint like you did

Under this roof--

Just a little different.

I wash away the


And the


That coated your hands too-


Your walls are now bare,

Everything gone--

Not even a single hair

Not even a single tear-

Drop, drop, dro-

You're starting a new life now.

And so am I;

We have both turned a page.

Though it's no longer

The same book.

Vile World

Amie Njie, Grade 9

A vile perfume fills the air.

Many cannot smell it.

Many do not seek it.

It is the smell of greed

the smell of hatred


upon men’s lips.

Carelessly unleashed

upon the world.

A vile splash! of paint


the ballroom walls

where dead dancers dance

a song full of life;

shattering criticism

a lion, ready to pounce!

A vile color fills your eyes

the color of lies

the color of judgment

as the ghost in the corner

tells you he loves you.

A vile order

from that voice in your head

shakes you awake

for the second time

or is it the ninth?

For this is the world we live in-

A vile




Sofia Taguchi Slettehaugh, Grade 9

My heart flutters like a butterfly, though I mustn't show it

Your hands atop my crinoline, as we dance to the violins

The crescendos and diminuendos guiding our steps

Mauve and maroon-dressed guests won’t take my eyes off of you
Every memorized move, every word left unspoken


Though the night makes my head whirl, your eyes hold me close

Fierce, passionate heat as we glide on our feet

No matter what occurred a day or night ago

Music carries us into the next spin or step

This moment so precious, I will wish it to repeat 


The chandelier glimmers, and illuminates the crowded hall

My skirts made of muslin, skillfully crafted by artisans

I get lost in the bottomless blue of your gaze

Never will you fail to entrance me with your charm

Must not be a dream, for my eyes are wide open


Pain from a petticoat or high heel will not stagger me

Your redolence like honey, reminds me of a fleur de lis

When one dance feels like eternity cut too short

Please don’t forget me as the stars leave the sky

I will remember this feeling, of when our hands meet

Though after we bow, it is turned bittersweet.


Inspired by Por Una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel and Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Sofia Taguchi Slettehaugh, Grade 9

Pieces of a puzzle that don’t seem to fit,

A life from birth to death preserved with every stitch.

When a path that is winding and broken gets chosen,

There are two fluffy gloves that keep your heart unfrozen.

All when a soul fears nothing, not even death,

A melody can be made with only one breath.

When emptiness is filled with the joy of the past,

A red box isn’t what’ll make happiness last.

While something like coffee is always around,

Only when you smell it can memories be found.

When an item so basic can make your eyes sting,

A flat piece of plastic can be worth as much as a ring.

As children we receive tiny things with tiny faces,

We hang onto them as we discover many new places.

See, our lives are not defined by the objects we find when cleaning,

But they serve a purpose because our memories give them meaning.

Natalie Silver, Grade 11

A spirited girl in Renaissance Florence upends a contest to design the city’s greatest monument, in a female reimagining of architectural history, in which rivalry, beauty, ingenuity, and a little blue notebook, are at the forefront.

Fiammetta is the 17-year-old daughter of a renowned Florence artist, Lorenzo Ghiberti. She longs to break into the all-male world of artisans, apprentices and architects who are transforming Florence into the most beautiful city in the world.

Brunelleschi, a 22-year-old architect, has already made a name for himself. But to qualify for the history books needs to score the biggest commission Florence will ever see: The Duomo.

Giorgio, a teenaged boy who works as an apprentice for Donatello, becomes Fiammetta’s accidental best friend and loyal sidekick, as they battle with the Florentine establishment.

Donatello, an already well-established artist in his 20s, and former apprentice of Ghiberti, is friends with everyone, and runs a workshop where everyone hangs out.



The Blue Notebook - Wooden Sword Fight


Fiammetta quietly walks through the corridor. She gets to the living room, and finds Vittorio and Tommaso dueling each other with their wooden swords. Tommaso spots Fiammetta, and stops fighting Vittorio.




Fiammetta winces


(In a posh voice)

I challenge you to a duel!


Fine. Sir Vittorio, I require your sword.


Of course, your fireness.

Vittorio hands Fiammetta his sword, and then sits down on the ground near the spot of the duel. Fiammetta and Tommasso are standing across from each other, preparing themselves for battle.


In the arena we have Fiammetta, wooooo, versus Tommasso, boooo!




I mean wooo as well! Okay duelers ready?




Even readyer.


On your marks, get set, duel!

The two start circling each other. Tommaso lunges first.


Tommaso makes the first move, and… misses. Fiammetta moves out of the way just in time.

Fiammetta makes the next move, but OH! Tommaso blocks her attack with his sword. Fiammetta’s sword goes flying out of her hand. She is defenseless! Tommaso takes one stab, straight through her! Tommaso wins!

Tommaso’s sword is tucked in between Fiammetta’s arm and side. She pulls it out, starts stumbling backwards, and pretends to die.



Fiammetta is still on the ground, trying to be as still as possible. Vittorio, concerned, goes over to make sure she is not actually dead. He stands next to her head and looks down. Nothing





Fiammetta abruptly sits up.



Both Fiammetta and Tommaso start laughing hysterically.


It's not funny! Stop laughing.

They don’t stop. Vittorio, annoyed, goes to sit and sulk on the sofa.


Thank you sir Tommaso, I had a splendid duel.

They shake hands.


As did I, Lady Fiammetta.


I really must be off now, good day to you both.


(Quick, and still mad)


Fiammetta walks out of the living room, and eventually into her room.




The Blue Notebook - Therapy Session


Giorgio walks into the workshop, having finished his lunch break, and finds Donatello reclining  on a sofa-chair. Donatello is frustrated. There are only the two of them in the workshop today. Giovanni is busy planning his wedding.


What's wrong?

Giorgio takes off his bag, leaving it on the nearby table.


I don’t want to go to the wedding tomorrow.




Well of course I want to go to the wedding, and I’m definitely going, after all, its Giovanni, though I still don’t know how he managed to find a wife, and I’m probably going to be bawling my eyes out the whole time, --

Giorgio pulls up a chair, and sits down.


But, Filippo is going to be there, and I do not want to see him.





Giorgio chuckles.


I know it's been a month, but I’m still mad! And I'm still not over him! He had no right to break up with me, only I can do that!


You were together? Like together together?


Yeah, on and off for about two years, how did you not know this? Anyway, I was always the one who broke up with him, but it was only ever for short breaks. I thought we were destined to be together. I mean sure, we got on each other's nerves, and it probably was a toxic relationship, but it was our toxic relationship! He would critique my work, because he thinks he is superior to everyone, which he is, but not the point, then I would criticise his stupid hair that’s always so poofy and perfect…

You know, a while ago, back when we were teenagers, which was only a couple of years ago, so not actually that long ago, anyway, we would play the most amazing pranks on our friends. One time we made this guy think he was another person. It was Filippo’s idea, and it was hilarious. The guy actually believed he had turned into someone else. And then he had the audacity to break up with me! Did our trip to Rome mean nothing to him? And you know what the worst part is? The reason he broke up with me is because he started to like someone else, a girl of all people! And a month later I’m still lying here wallowing in self pity. I suppose I deserve it for breaking up with him so many times.






The girl, the one he broke up with you for, it’s Fia.

Donatello sits up.


What! No, it can’t be Fia, I mean do they even know each other?


Sort of.


Anyway, even if he did like Fia, there is no way she could like him back right?


No… She hates him… 

Donatello lies back down.


That was not a very convincing answer. I feel like you are not telling me something.


Uh.. You know, I probably should get back to work, paint to mix, wood to paint, other stuff that I can’t think of that also involves paint…

Giorgio gets up and starts walking backwards out of the room.


Yeah. Bye!

Giorgio walks out of the room.


Bianca Todini, Grade 10

Graphite sky,

fog of pepper light

sprinkling the silver sea.

Tendrils of iron clouds

blending into the graphite.

Swirling charcoal.


The Sun emerges

dripping in silver;

chrome drops

sloshing and melting

rippling the surface.

Molten metal.


The Sun rises higher.

Now shining gold.

Its silver skin shed into the sea,

bright light breaking the graphite.


Charcoal crumbling into dust,

smog inhaling the sky and

exhaling it up into the clouds.

Revealing its blue beneath.

Now delicate and unexposed,

as the morning light dances off its clean face.

wave background

Download PDF with original text styling

Chapter 1: The World Around Us | A Comment on Our Times, Cortile 2021 Highlights

Revenge of the Fringe

Is internet culture driving America to extremes?

In December of 2020, historians in The Washington Post weighed in on whether 2020 was the worst year ever. Materially, the answer is clear: even in a year of tumult, we live in an era of superabundance. Since the turn of the last century, Americans have added decades to our lifespans, easy-to-source food to our tables, and secured health outcomes that, even in a bad year, remain better than anything our ancestors enjoyed.

By Jen Hollis - Former Teacher of IB History, St. Stephen’s School
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Justice, Cortile 2021 Highlights

Understanding the Origins of BLM and the World’s Outrage Over George Floyd’s Death

"I continue to be surprised at how little Black lives matter... Our lives matter."

- Patrisse Cullors, Founding Member, BLM

By Tatiana Lima '15
op ed2
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Justice

Opinion: George Floyd’s Killing and the Black Lives Matter Protests Against Police Brutality

On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd was arrested and killed by Minneapolis Police after being accused of stealing from a store. Outrage followed when footage of the arrest revealed one of the officers--Derek Chauvin--placing his knee on Floyd’s neck during the arrest for eight minutes and forty-six seconds and ignoring Floyd’s desperate pleas of “I can’t breathe… I can’t breathe…” 

By Sofia Ghilas '21
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Justice

Opinion: The Rise of Anti-Asian Sentiment

After the recent fatal shooting of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta, Georgia, last month, there is increasing alarm about the proliferation of anti-Asian racist memes, posts, and other online activities that may have set the stage for real-life violence.

By Lixuan Du ‘23
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | The Pandemic

Bloom Where You Are Planted: How and Why We Persisted During Covid

“They won’t let you board the plane?” I responded on my mobile phone, rubbing sleepy sand out of my eyes. It was 6 AM on a Sunday in February 2020, and half of our school was at the airport – or soon to be -- for Spring Trips, heading out to destinations like Oman and Morocco (the other trips had gotten out the day before).  So began my intimate relationship with the virus. Though we had been tracking the virus for weeks prior, that moment is the moment it all really began for me.  (And, yes, those trip participants literally pulled their bags off the airline conveyor belts, redialed the rental van, and returned, despondent, to their homes in Rome.)

By Eric Mayer - Head of School
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | The Pandemic

Reopening After a School Closure and Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

Dateline: 25 January, 2020

On January 18th, St. Stephen’s students and teachers returned to the classroom for the first time since late October. At 8 am on Monday, a line of excited students wound its way down Via Aventina, each student waiting their turn for morning temperature checks. All around them, teachers weaved in and out of the line, stopping to greet groups of students and remark on how surreal it felt to be back.

By Vittoria Giusti ‘22, Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and member of the Boarding Faculty
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | The Pandemic

At War With an Invisible Enemy

The Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the most challenging issues the world has collectively faced in recent history. We are essentially waging war against a silent enemy--one who has no national borders, knows no social bounds, political systems, nor cultural norms or values. This silent enemy of ours has inflicted harm on whoever crosses its path, upending life as we have come to know it, surreptitiously taking lives, decimating industries, and destabilizing the world economy.

By Xara Al Said ‘23
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | The Pandemic

The Disproportional Impact of Covid on Black Americans

 Last year, as we watched the United States attempt to tackle the Covid-19 virus with mixed messages from the former President, spotty stay-at-home orders, at will mask-wearing, and widespread Covid testing, we observed a great divide between those catching the virus and recovering and those catching the virus and dying.

By Tanesha Alexander - Assistant Librarian, EAP Teacher, and DEI representative
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Media and Bullying

Teens and Bullying

Bullying occurs a lot more than one would expect. Injuries, abuses, humiliations, threats, teachers offended while the class videotapes them, kids kicked, teenagers arrested for serious acts against peers.

By Emma Jansen ‘24
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Student Perspectives on Social Media and Bullying

A Social Media Guide for Teens

The use of social media has become an inevitability of modern-day life. Whether you’re following your school’s Facebook account, chatting with your family on Whatsapp, or sending your friends pictures on Instagram.

By Sofia Ghilas '21
spirit new
Chapter 1: The World Around Us | Service

In the Spirit of Service

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope; you will fill yourself with hope.”
― Barack Obama

By Dr. Helen Pope - Former St. Stephen’s Teacher and Director of the Dr. Helen Pope Lyceum
Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Film review: Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

IMDB Rating: 7.6

‘You can kill a revolutionary, but you can never kill the revolution.’ Words from the great activist for black rights, Fred Hampton was the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party from 1966 to 1969.

By Luca Vanderson '22
what we started
Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Film Review: What We Started

What We Started on Netflix is a beautiful documentary about the history of electronic music that follows its origins from the early 1970s until today. The film explores the genre through interviews with DJs and music producers.

By Matteo Scarfini ‘24
Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Film Review: Seaspiracy

The newly released Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, explores the damage the fishing industry is causing the blue planet.

By Gustav Franklin ‘21
gone wind4
Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Gone with the Wind: A Film Review for Our Times

I saw this film for the first time three years ago, and it is one of those movies that you cannot only watch; you have to think and read and write about it to understand it and its impact on you.

By Benedetta Bosco ‘22
Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching

Film Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age drama film directed by Stephen Chbosky, starring globally known actors Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller, and was released in 2012.

By Anita D’Alisera ‘21
favorite online
Chapter 2: Our Life Online | What Students Are Watching | Digital St. Stephen's

Our Favorite Online Events

This past year has challenged us to move our events online, from Zoom olive oil and wine tastings that transported us to the Tuscan countryside to gallery openings that brought us to the heart of the New York City and Roman art scene; we have made the best of this pandemic, seizing it as an opportunity to experiment with new mediums and new activities.

Chapter 3: Creative Writing | Creative Writing


As the school's only student-run literary and artistic magazine, INK provides the grounding for your creativity to thrive.

By The INK Team
cw 1
Chapter 3: Creative Writing | Creative Writing

A Selection of Creative Writing

You’ve probably seen that meme: a child in a big armchair, cozily reading a book. All around her head are thought bubbles full of knights and dragons, maps and mountains, ships and seas. And below, the caption: “Reading Takes You Places.”

Chapter 4: Departments | The Lyceum

New Initiatives at the Lyceum Take Off During the Pandemic

"All men by nature desire to know." (Aristotle, Metaphysics 1.980a22).

Nevermore than during the last seventeen months did these words from Aristotle ring true for me. We are so fortunate that through the Lyceum, we are able to create special opportunities for our students to learn about the ancient world, whether it’s through weekend trips and lectures or by inviting scholars, writers, and poets who through their workshops, lectures and readings enhance our classes and broaden our students' horizons.

By Inge Weustink - Director of the Lyceum, Classics Teacher
city of rome1
Chapter 4: Departments | Exploring City of Rome II Class

Exploring the New City of Rome 2 Class

Between 1400 and 1700, Rome was reborn as a global city, capital of a growing world ‘empire,’ so to speak, for the first time since antiquity. The city today owes much of its historical appeal, its most eye-catching artworks, and monuments, to this, the Early Modern era (c.1400-1700 CE).

By Dr. Rebecca Raynor - Art History, Dr. Paul Treherne - History
arts hero
Chapter 5: The Arts

The Arts

This year our students have embraced the digital world, moving their drama and art shows online.

Image: Credit in here mentioning that the art work was selected for the cover

Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview, Cortile 2021 Highlights

Nicola Formichetti ‘96

Fashion Designer / Stylist / Creative Director

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and member of the Boarding Faculty
M. Stancati photo
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Margherita Stancati ‘03

The Wall Street Journal reporter

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and member of the Boarding Faculty
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Galen Druke ‘08

Host and Producer at FiveThirtyEight.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and member of the Boarding Faculty
Diva Tommei.Photo credits Ilaria Magliocchetti
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Diva Tommei ‘02

Investment Director Information Technology ICT at ENEA Teach

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and member of the Boarding Faculty
elizabeth blackwell2
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Elizabeth Blackwell ‘86


By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and member of the Boarding Faculty
Rachel Sadoff
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight Interview

Rachel Sadoff ‘15

MA Candidate in Public Health at Columbia University

By Natalie Edwards '14 - City of Rome I, Core 9 Teacher and member of the Boarding Faculty
Healthy Campus team
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Alumni Spotlight

Alumni serve as our Healthy Campus Team

With Italy’s many COVID restrictions, we’ve needed additional staff to greet and temperature check arriving students, walk the campus for compliance, assist classes if the teacher is working remotely but the students are here, and various other activities to keep us safe.  To our great fortune, four alumni came forward to help us for the year: Michael Alonzi (2013), Tatiana Lima (2015), David Rosales (2016), and Alessandro Cosmo (2017). We asked about the experience, and they had this to say…

By Eric Mayer - Head of School
online alumni
Chapter 6. Alumni Spotlight | Digital Alumni

Alumni Events Online

From alumni trivia and virtual reunions to happy hours and afternoon coffee breaks, our digital alumni events have enabled us to bring together alumni and current and former faculty members from around the world.