The Lamont Fund, established in 1982 by Corliss Lamont, Class of 1920, and Jacquelyn Thomas, former Academy Librarian, supports the Academy Library's Lamont Poetry Series. Two poets are invited each year to give readings of their poetry and to attend English classes.
The first Lamont Poet, on April 27, 1983, was Jorge Luis Borges. He has been followed by more than 60 others, ranging from Denise Levertov and Seamus Heaney to Yusef Komunyakaa, C.K. Williams, Alan Ginsberg and Robert Pinsky.
Each visiting poet is photographed and asked to present the library with a manuscript poem. These are then framed and hung in the Special Collections department on the fourth floor of the library.
The Lamont Younger Poets
The Lamont Younger Poets Prize honors poems of exceptional promise written by juniors (ninth-graders) and lowers (10th-graders) at Phillips Exeter Academy. The award is presented in the spring of the year in conjunction with the Lamont Poets Series. The prize commemorates the dedication of English instructor Rex McGuinn to student poetry at Exeter — particularly his encouragement of student poets at the ninth- and tenth-grade levels. In such a spirit, the Lamont Younger Poets Prize seeks to recognize promise as well as achievement in the early years of a student's developing craft. In conjunction with the reading each year, a chap book is published with the text of the winners' poems. A copy of each year's book is kept in the Library.