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Poet Phil Kaye Captivates SLS Upper School

From Upper School English Chair Jenn Sproule:

St. Luke’s was delighted to host Phil Kaye for a day of poetry on Tuesday, October 22. Kaye is the co-founder of Project Voice, a program that brings live performance and student workshops to schools around the country, as well as a National Poetry Slam Finalist who has performed in nineteen countries and been featured on PBS.

During minicourse, Upper School students and faculty gathered in the Seldin Performing Arts Center for a live performance of spoken word poetry. Phil Kaye took to the stage, the lights dimmed, and the mood quickly shifted to one of reverence as Kaye performed a beautifully crafted collection of poems that made his audience laugh, reflect, and in some cases, reimagine what poetry is and can be. Zaire Profit ‘21 said, “I was really inspired and have started writing things of my own. You don't actually have to use big words to send a deeper message. [Kaye’s poetry has] a lot of intricate things woven into simple language.”

Throughout the day, all ninth-graders attended poetry workshops led by Kaye, who taught them how to write and perform original poems. The ninth grade had been studying poetry in their English classes in the weeks leading up to Kaye’s visit, and his workshops were the perfect culmination to the unit. According to Cessa Lewis ‘23, "Phil Kaye's workshop was an engaging and hands-on experience where we explored the use of sensory details to enhance our poetic language. At the end, we shared one word from each of our poems with a gesture, and it was a super fun and cool activity that brought spoken word poetry to life."

We feel fortunate to have been able to welcome Phil Kaye to our community and look forward to hearing how he has inspired our students at the English Department’s upcoming Evening of Poetry on November 20.


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St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.