Building Bridges Exhibit

Beginning November 1st, The Class of 1945 Library will host a traveling exhibition Building Bridges: Portraits of Immigrants and Refugees, a photo-text display created by the award-winning Family Diversity Projects of Amherst, Massachusetts. The exhibit created by Mark Chester, Gigi Kaeser, and Peggy Gillespie features photographs and interviews with people who have come to the United States as immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers from all over the world. The exhibit seeks to challenge damaging myths and stereotypes about immigrants and refugees as a way to prevent bullying and hatred towards this marginalized group of people.

The exhibit will be on display November 1 – December 14th on the ground floor of the Library Commons.

Books for Upcoming Assemblies

The next three assemblies bring to campus Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Dr. John Mather, explorer/cinematographer Steve Elkins, and Peter Singer, one of the world’s foremost moral philosophers.

To learn about Mather, Elkins, and Singer, check out these books available at the Library.

Dr. John Mather, Senior Astrophysicist at NASA
Assembly Speaker, October 5th

The Very First Light: the True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universe by John C. Mather & John Boslough
Published ten years before Dr. John Mather won the Nobel Prize in Physics, this book provides a detailed account of “the discovery of the cosmic background radiation and of the subsequent fifteen-year struggle to design, building and launch the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite.”

Steve Elkin,  explorer and cinematographer
Assembly Speaker, October 9th

The Lost City of the Monkey God : a True Story by Douglas Preston
Steve Elkin and his partner, documentary filmmaker Ben Benenson, led an expedition to find “the lost city of the monkey god” in the Honduras jungle.  This NYT Bestseller written by Douglas Preston is a riveting eyewitness account of their discovery of the lost city. A film of the same title will be released this year.


Peter Singer,  professor of bioethics
Assembly Speaker, October 12th

The Library has twenty-two titles written by philosopher Peter Singer.  Some notable works include:


This week the Library joins the rest of the book community in supporting the freedom to read.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.” (American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom)

Each year the American Library Association keeps track of books challenged throughout the country in public and school libraries. Visit the Library this week to see our exhibit of the ALA’s Top Ten Challenged Books of 2017 or view the list below.

Lamont Poet Julia Alvarez

22enthusiastalvarez-articleLargePhillips Exeter Academy  opens its 2018–2019 Lamont Poetry Series on Wednesday October 10th with a reading by award-winning poet, novelist, and essayist Julia Alvarez.

Alvarez is the author of four collections of poetry The Other Side / El Otro Lado (1995), Homecoming (1996), Seven Trees (1998), and The Woman I Kept to Myself (2004); several books including How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (winner of the 1991 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award ), In the Time of the Butterflies (1994), Yo! (American Library Association notable book), and Once Upon a Quinceañera (2007); plus numerous essays.

Her work has earned her frequent awards, including the 2009 F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Excellence in American Literature as well as the Hispanic Heritage Award in 2002.  Alvarez has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Award and her work has often been a selection for the One Book/One City national program. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. Her work was featured in the 1996 New York Public Library exhibit, “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, From John Donne to Julia Alvarez. In 1974 she received the Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, first prize in narrative from the Third Woman Press Award in 1986, and an award from the General Electric Foundation in 1986.

Alvarez received her Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from Middlebury College and also attended Syracuse University, from which she received her M.F.A. She has taught at Phillips Andover Academy, the University of Illinois, George Washington University, the University of Vermont, and Middlebury College. In addition, Alvarez has served as Poet-in-the-Schools in Kentucky, Delaware and North Carolina. She is currently a writer in residence at Middlebury College.

The reading will be held in the Assembly Hall, located on the second floor of the Academy Building on Front Street. The event begins at 7:30pm and is free and open to the public.

The Library’s 2018 Summer Concert Series Offers Something for Everyone

The Library is pleased to announce the dates for its 2018 Summer Concert Series, which will be held on five consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning on July 4. All concerts will take place in the Library’s Rockefeller Hall at 7pm, and they are free and open to the public. 

The series will open on July 4 with a solo piano concert by George Lopez, a former P.E.A. music faculty member and current Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College, who will perform and offer commentary on the last three piano sonatas written by Ludwig van Beethoven. The series continues on July 11 with a family-friendly performance by Brass Connection, a quintet specializing in popular music and show tunes. This concert will feature plenty of opportunities for audience participation, including children! On July 18, the Library will host P.E.A. music faculty member Petra Pacaric and friends in a concert featuring songs in a variety of musical styles and languages. Jazz lovers will enjoy the concert scheduled for July 25, which will feature a sextet performing a mixture of vocal and instrumental standards. The series will close on August 1 with a potpourri-style concert featuring P.E.A. musicians drawn from the entire campus community. 

Inquiries about the Library’s Summer Concert Series may be directed to Drew Gatto by phone at (603)777-3308, or by email at Please join us in the Library this summer for a diverse program of music for all ages, presented in air-conditioned comfort!  

Bennett Fellow Reading

Photo credit: Chris McCormick

On Wednesday May 16th, The Class of 1945 Library will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the George Bennett Fellowship with a reading by Mairead Small Staid ’06, 2017-2018 George Bennett Fellow.

Mairead Small Staid is a MacDowell Fellow and a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, where she received Hopwood Awards in nonfiction and poetry. Her recent work can be found in AGNIThe BelieverThe Georgia ReviewKenyon ReviewNarrativeNinth Letter, and Ploughshares.

The George Bennett Fellowship was established by Elias B.M. Kulukundis ’55 in honor of PEA English Instructor George Bennett. The one-year fellowship has provided writers “of outstanding promise” with the support they need to pursue their craft.

The reading will be held in the Library’s Rockefeller Hall from 7:00 – 8:00pm.  The event is free and open to the public.

Poetry Reading by Matt Miller

photo credit: Joseph Lambert

The Friends of the Academy Library invite you to a reading and book signing by Matt Miller, Phillips Exeter Academy Instructor in English, in celebration of his new book of poetry The Wounded for the Water. The event will be held on Wednesday April 18th from 7:00-8:00 pm in the Library’s Rockefeller Hall.

Matt Miller is the author of Club Icarus, selected by Major Jackson as the 2012 Vassar Miller Poetry Prize winner, and Cameo Dinner: Poems (Loom Press). He has published poems and essays in Slate, Harvard Review, Narrative Magazine, Notre Dame Review, Southwest Review, crazyhorse, Third Coast, The Rumpus, and The Adroit Journal, among other journals. Winner of the 2015 River Styx Microfiction Prize and Iron Horse Review’s 2015 Trifecta Poetry Prize, he is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry from Stanford University and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Poetry from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

Reviews for The Wounded for the Water
“The reality of drowning, and the powerful metaphor of it, inform Matt Miller’s lyrical muscular new collection. Although water, violent or not, is often the book’s setting, these relentless poems explore the pain and perils of tenderness, of friendship, our physical and moral vulnerability, the challenges of loving and being loved. As Miller puts himself at risk again and again, his poetry grabs me by the throat, breaks my heart, even makes me laugh—and, oddly, gives me hope.”
–Gail Mazur
author of Forbidden City

“One needs read only a poem or two in Matt Miller’s The Wounded for the Water to sense we’re in the hands of a poet with tremendous control. There are musical moments so lush I hear echoes of Hopkins, coupled with a tender directness and images of clinical grit. Whether he’s offering the straight dope on the different suits boys try on as they audition for manhood, or meditating on what the rain can and can’t wash away, Miller takes us time and time again to the moment, as children, when the force of the world struck us, and we were left to examine the mark.”
–Michael Bazzet
author of Our Lands Are Not So Different