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Sayre Welcomes Silas House to Campus

Barb Milosch

Sayre School had the honor of hosting nationally bestselling author Silas House on campus on Tuesday, October 3. Silas House is a writer of extraordinary range. Born in Kentucky, a resident of Lexington, and a faculty member at Berea College, House is the current poet laureate of Kentucky. He has written seven novels, which have garnered him numerous accolades, most recently the 2023 Southern Book Prize.

House presented to the Middle and Upper School students and faculty during the school day. He focused on the process and background of writing Same Sun Here, Southernmost, and his latest book Lark Ascending. He explained how current events impacted his stories. "His presentations were accessible and interesting to all students, even those who had not read the novel, but it had some great rewards for those who had read the novel," said English teacher Lindsay O'Connor. "We loved seeing who is cast in the tentative movie and who Silas wishes they would cast, and the playlists were a hit. The next day, one of my students told me they listened to My Morning Jacket on his recommendation and loved them." 

As part of Sayre's Community Education Program, House returned to present to parents that evening. House engaged all ages as he brought to life his writing process and answered questions. "Silas House was a gracious speaker to three different audiences in the course of one day, pivoting from talking with Middle School students about storytelling to answering their parents' questions about the artistic process," recalled Lindsay. "All of his presentations showed his deep engagement with history, music, current events, visual art, and his Kentucky heritage and home. He shared how our complex world impacts his writing and how he uses his writing to create mirrors for us as we navigate that world and try to make it better."