Gunnery Student Named Finalist in Storm King Poetry Festival

Sofia Pattillo ’20 was selected as a finalist in the third annual Storm King School Poetry Festival held on the evening of April 27 at the school’s Walter Reade Jr. Theatre in Cornwall-On-Hudson, New York.
Pattillo was one of 15 poets who were selected as finalists from independent schools throughout the region. The Gunnery was represented along with Christian Heritage School, Hamden Hall Country Day School, The Marvelwood School, The Masters School, Rye Country Day School, St. Luke’s School, The Storm King School, Washingtonville High School and Wooster School.

Two judges, Robert Milby, who has served as the Poet Laureate of Orange County, New York, since 2017, and Hudson Valley poet Gloria Winter, read the students’ original poems aloud and provided feedback. Pattillo said Winter commented that her poem, “Green Iron Fence,” which will be featured later this spring in the Stray Shot, The Gunnery’s literary magazine, was reminiscent of the work of Emily Dickinson.

The event, which also featured live musical performances and screenings of two short videos, was part of Storm King’s annual Spring Arts Weekend, a four-day event celebrating the visual, performing, and language arts and showcasing the work of student-artists.

A Green Iron Fence
by Sofia Pattillo
There was a green iron fence,
An entrance to the garden,
And a child so foreign to thee.
There were lights amidst the plants
And rocks circling the rhubarb leaves.
There was mountain laurel floating in the air,
A product of the Capri Sea.
And standing there
Gripping the bars, I was a traveler.
Oh, on the other side I wanted to be!

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Founded in 1850 by abolitionist, educator, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn, The Gunnery is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12/post-graduate. Dedicated teacher-mentor-coaches challenge students to reach their full potential in a home-like setting where character and citizenship are valued as much as intellect and achievement. Individualized attention and high expectations help young learners develop not only the skills and confidence they will need in college, but also the moral compass and love of learning that will serve them well in life. The school attracts ambitious, academically curious students who will both shine as unique individuals and thrive as contributing members of a deeply connected community. By the time they graduate, Gunnery students have become well rounded, grounded young adults with a sharpened sense of who they are and who they want to become.