As the spring semester got underway, St. Mark’s welcomed five extraordinary writers to campus for the eighth annual Literary Festival on Friday, January 9, 2015. This year’s distinguished guests included biographer Blake Bailey, poet Ed Mabrey, novelist Ann Napolitano, human-rights advocate and novelist Annu Subramanian, and St. Mark’s graduate and non-fiction author Robert Zorn ’75.
Ed Mabrey arrived a day early and treated the Upper School to an oral presentation of some of his poems, drawing big laughs for his cultural observations and proving why he was the three-time World Poetry Slam Champion. The next day, all five writers sat on a panel discussion hosted by Literary Festival co-chairs Will Garden ’16 and Gopal Raman ’17, who is himself a published author. The writers discussed a wide range of topics, including how they have come to incorporate every subject they learned in school, even math, into their writing. They also stressed that writing is a discipline that requires lots of practice and patience.
After an afternoon of classroom discussions, the authors gathered in the Green Library for a special reception and to announce the winners of the annual writing contest. Numerous student entries in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry were judged by a panel of Upper School teachers and the five visiting writers.
The winners were:
“Red” by James Zhang ’15
“Proverbs” by Burke Garza ’15
“The Persistent Civilian” by Perry Naseck ’18
“Plateau” by Alden James ’16
“Personal Essay” by Andrew Chuka ’17
“Fear Itself” by Philip Smart ’16
“Bumblebee” by Andrew Chuka ’17
“Alone in an Empty Field” by Burke Garza ’15
“Antero Reservoir” by Burke Garza ’15
The Literary Festival is sponsored by David Brown, Victor F. White Master Teaching Chair.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.