News and Events
U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey to Read at Phillips Exeter Academy
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 7:30 p.m., Phillips Exeter Academy's Class of 1945 Library opens its 2012–2013 Lamont Poetry Series with a reading by Natasha Trethewey,U.S. Poet Laureate and Poet Laureate of Mississippi. The reading will take place inside the Assembly Hall, located on the second floor of the Academy Building on Front Street. The event is free and open to the public.
A poet and author, Trethewey serves as Emory University's Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing. This year, she was named as both the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate (2012–2013) and the Poet Laureate of Mississippi (2012–2016)—the first person to serve simultaneously in these posts. She is the author of four poetry collections: Domestic Work (2000), winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African-American poet; Bellocq's Ophelia (2002); Native Guard (2006), awarded a Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2007; and her latest book, Thrall (2012). In 2010, Trethewey released Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a nonfiction piece on the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. A memoir is scheduled to be published in 2013.
Trethewey has received fellowships from the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. The daughter of an African-American mother and Caucasian father, Trethewey's works explore the beauty and tangled intricacies of race, relationships and history.
A native of Gulfport, MS, Trethewey spent time with her extended family in Atlanta, GA, and New Orleans, LA, after her parents divorced when she was 6. She studied English at the University of Georgia, earned a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing from Hollins University in 1989, and received a master's degree in poetry in 1991 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her works have appeared in some of the country's most prestigious literary journals and anthologies, including The American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry in 2000 and 2003, Kenyon Review, New England Review and The Southern Review.
The Library's Lamont Poetry Series is supported by the Lamont Fund, established in 1982 by Corliss Lamont '20 and former Academy Librarian Jacquelyn Thomas. Two poets are invited each year to read their works and attend English classes. Each visiting poet is photographed and asked to present the library with a manuscript poem, which is framed and hung on the fourth floor of the library. The collection of framed manuscript poems includes the works of such noted artists as Jorge Luis Borges, Seamus Heaney, Gwendolyn Brooks, Joseph Brodsky and Allen Ginsberg. The series continues to bring remarkable poets to Exeter and remains a testimony to Mr. Lamont, who died in 1995.
For more information, please call Todd Hearon, the PEA Charles Lynn and Mary Chase Stone Instructor in the Humanities and Instructor in English, at 603-777-3714 or visit the English Department webpage. For more information on the library and a complete list of upcoming community events, please visit the library's webpage and PEA Community Calendar. You may also call the PEA public events line at 603-777-4309, or visit the PEA website. Directions to the Academy are available at 603-777-4330.