Phil Kaye Announced as 2021-2022 Writer in Residence
Poet, writer, and filmmaker Phil Kaye has been announced as the 2021-2022 Chatham Hall Writer in Residence. Kaye is the author of two books, A Light Bulb Symphony and Date & Time, and his work has been featured in a range of settings from The New Yorker to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
“Phil Kaye is a high energy spoken-word poet who wants to work with students! He is both a teacher and an artist, and I have found that combination to be the magic ingredient of our more successful Writers in Residence,” said Dr. Mary Edmonds, chair of the English Department.
“Phil genuinely wants to hold workshops with the students and help them with their creative self-expression. Moreover, because he is a spoken-word poet used to participating in poetry slams, he will be speaking to the students in a poetic form that they are already familiar with and love.”
Kaye has performed his original poetry in 20 countries and was invited to open for His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the celebration of his 80th birthday. He is the co-director of Project VOICE, an organization that partners with schools to bring poetry to the classroom. In addition, Kaye is a National Poetry Slam finalist, and the two-time recipient of the National College Poetry Slam (CUPSI) award for “Pushing the Art Forward,” given for outstanding innovation in the art of performance poetry. A former teacher of weekly poetry workshops in maximum security prisons, Kaye was also the head coordinator of Space in Prisons for the Arts and Creative Expression (SPACE). He will complete his residency April 5 & 6.
“I hope the students will gain a love and respect for poetry,” said Edmonds. “I also hope they will learn to view writing as inviting rather than fear-inspiring, and those who already love to write poetry will receive helpful, positive feedback.”
The Writer in Residence Program is a highlight of the Chatham Hall curriculum. Stewarded through the English Department, each year a noted writer visits campus to share their profound work and meet with students for conversation over lunch or dinner. This program allows the Chatham Hall community to open its eyes and hearts to experiences with which they may or may not be familiar.
Chatham Hall Writers in Residence alumni include Grammy and MacArthur award-winning songwriter Rhiannon Giddons, Poet Laureate of the United States Joy Harjo, and National Medal of Arts-winning author Tobias Wolff, among many others. A full list of past Writers in Residence is available here.
Support for this signature program is provided through the endowment. When fully funded, the program will be named the "Claudia Emerson ’75 Writer In Residence" in tribute to this Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Chatham Hall Trustee, alumna, former dean and faculty member, and Chatham native who twice served as a writer in residence. For more information, please contact Chief Advancement Officer Christine Knight.