Cunningham's Poetry Published in Michigan Quarterly Review

Posted: January 16, 2013

A poem by Dean of Faculty/English Master Chris Cunningham, "Rapunzel’s Mother," has been published in the most recent issue of the Michigan Quarterly Review.

Rapunzel’s Mother

She sent her husband to steal morsels
of strangeness from the night. He poached
dew from roses, plucked wings

from lady bugs, climbed trees
to borrow robins’ eggs, which she
licked, craving the taste of blue.

The night he returned burdened
with the witch’s bitter herb, his wife
began the list of names she’d call

the child she knew she’d never know.
Lettered with ink of blood, spit, bile,
the list ran on for pages, a parade

of words bizarre, banal—outlandish
place-names sifted from atlases,
names of household items, animals

exotic, domestic, and fantastic,
names of kings, trees, clouds, and gods,
every fruit, star, and constellation.

The final pages wandered into nonsense,
meaningless, implausible
strings of consonants, grinding

against each other like shifting ice,
then melting into vowels, pages
of keening, formless, lipless words

spelling the name of lamentation,
sounding out the raw, full throat of loss.

Cunningham has been the School's Third Form English Curriculum Coordinator, Acting Chair of the English department, Chair of the Discipline Committee, and a member of numerous other School committees during his ten years at Lawrenceville. His efforts as head coach of the Big Red girls' varsity cross country team earned him Coach of the Year awards from the Trenton Times, Trentonian, and Star-Ledger in 2011.

Cunningham received his A.B. in Modern Thought and Literature, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Literature from Duke University. His poetry, criticism, and reviews have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Slate, Iowa Review, Best New Poets 2006, Southwest Review, Ninth Letter, Black Warrior Review, Court Green, Cincinnati Review, Poetry International, Meridian, River Styx, Notre Dame Review, Smartish Pace, Western Humanities Review, Cimarron Review, Arizona Quarterly, Mississippi Quarterly. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Cunningham has completed a collection of poetry, "No Stranger but Ourself, "and is working on a book-length sequence, "Mr. Anderson."

Before joining Lawrenceville, Cunningham taught at Princeton Day School, Stuart Country Day School, and Montclair Kimberly Academy. He was also an adjunct professor at Rider University and Mercer County Community College.

For additional information on all Lawrenceville School news, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of public relations, at

Posted: January 16, 2013

Recent News

  • Students and Faculty from Emanuel School Visit Lawrenceville

    Posted October 20, 2016

    This past Monday, ten students and four faculty members from the Emanuel School in London arrived at Lawrenceville. Their main goal of the trip was to collaborate with Lawrentians, in particular with the Heely Scholars, on their research topics comparing Britain with the United States. Along the way, the students and faculty also attended Lawrenceville classes and met many members of the Lawrenceville community.

  • Oct. 28-29: The Periwig Club Presents “Cinderella”

    Posted October 20, 2016

    No need for spectacular slippers! All are invited to enjoy Lawrenceville’s enchanting production of “Cinderella” on Oct. 28-29 in the Allan P. Kirby Arts Center. The magic begins each night at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free with a Lawrenceville School ID card and for children under the age of 12. A suggested donation of $5 is asked of all other audience members.

  • Girls’ Tennis Wins State Championship

    Posted October 20, 2016

    Congratulations to the girls’ varsity tennis team, winners of the 2016 NJISAA Girls’ “A” Division championship! Big Red swept first, second, and third singles, as well as first and second doubles. Matches were held yesterday at the Warren Health and Racquet Club in Warren, N.J.

  • Midday Music Artist Profile: Alex Liu ‘18

    Posted October 19, 2016

    At the Oct. 21 Midday Music Concert (Clark Music Building, Dresdner Hall, 12:30 p.m.), Alex Liu ‘18 will play a clarinet solo piece by Paul Harvey called “Three Etudes on Themes of Gershwin.” Liu is Principal Clarinet of both Lawrenceville’s Community Orchestra and selective Collegium orchestra. He also competes in competitions and performs in recitals outside school.

  • Lawrenceville Celebrates Student Achievements at Parents Weekend

    Posted October 17, 2016

    Hundreds of families from around the globe travelled to Lawrenceville to celebrate their student's successes – around the Harkness table, in the Houses, and on the playing fields, at Lawrenceville’s annual Parents Weekend, Oct. 14-15. Parents received progress reports on their Lawrentians from members of the faculty, then sat in on presentations relevant to Lawrentian life.