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The Redmond Prize for English Narrative: Do We Ever Grow Up?

By Linda Li, IV Form

The Redmond Prize for English Narrative: Do We Ever Grow Up?

The Redmond Prize for English Narrative, presented in memory of Henry S. Redmond, Class of 1923, is awarded to the student, who, in the judgment of the English Department, has submitted the outstanding piece of narrative during this academic year.

My mom could answer everything I asked her. She could cook anything I wanted. With one hand she lifted up boxes I couldn’t budge with all my weight. Facing ghastly creatures – spiders or worms – she never showed a sliver of fear. She always held truth, knowing what was right, and what was wrong. So I trusted her with my everything. 

At night, she sat by the window alone. Drops of water trailed her face like beads in the dark, from her red and swollen eyes. I asked her what she was doing. 

“I’m counting the stars.” 

When my dad was nowhere to be found, I asked my mom where he was.


“Waves”: A Short Story

By Yevheniia Dubrova, VI Form

“Waves”: A Short Story

Editor’s Note: The following short story was submitted as a final project in “The Rise of the Short Story: Creative Short Fiction Writing.”

Before Pat was born, my mother and I used to talk. She let me sleep in her bed when dad worked night shifts, and although I never really understood what his job was, I knew it was some kind of important thing because he worked a lot, and that says something. It didn’t bother me much back then, and sometimes, I even wished he would stay at work more often so that I could sleep at my mom’s. She left orange peels on her nightstand until they dried out and wrinkled up. My dad would say they look like pork rinds and throw them away, but it smelled like Christmas, and I liked it. Her bed was solid and soft at the same time, and I swear I could drown in her heavy blankets and crisp linens. We rarely cuddled — mom doesn’t like cuddling — but she talked to me about all sorts of things, and her voice would always put me to sleep, even though I tried to stay awake for as long as possible to listen to her some more.

She didn’t talk much about her youth, except for that one time she told me about finding her mother’s book on childbirth. She saw the pictures. The pictures must have made a lasting impression on my mom because she swore to never have a baby. I asked her if the real thing was as bad as the pictures. She said if she had known it would be that bad, she would never have had me in the first place. She then brushed my hair with her fingers and said she was glad she had me after all, but that birth thing was really bad.

“Can you imagine? All that pain and blood? And with a head like yours… Oh, sweet Jesus Christ, I thought you were going to rip my hips apart!” 


“I Simply Speak Best in Metaphors”–Creative Writing at SM

By Alex Colon, VI Form

“I Simply Speak Best in Metaphors”–Creative Writing at SM

Editor’s Note: The Rise of the Short Story and News That Stays News are VI Form elective courses that constitute a key part of St. Mark’s creative writing program.  In the fall, students examine the integral parts of a successful short story in order to craft their own. In the spring, students explore poetry, both originally in English and in translation.  In News That Stays News, students attempt to define poetry, experiment with form, and establish a personal voice.

Alex Colon’s short story, “Completely Undone,” was composed while using the second person pronoun (you) perspective as the driving force of the story.  This is a particularly difficult task, as one risks alienating the reader.  For Alex’s second piece here, a poem entitled “The Morning Inconspicuous,” the assignment was simply one of form: write a sestina.  However, a sestina is a very complex form of obsession, where the six words at the ends of the lines in the first stanza are repeatedly woven, in a given order, throughout the poem.

Completely Undone

Your heart beats slow- abnormally slow. You are healthy and lean, but your heart is beating along like you are on your deathbed. You must have been in love at some point because there is no other reason why your heart should beat so slow. Your feet struggle to pick themselves up. With every step you are putting yourself in danger. (more…)