Black History Month: African American Poets

With Lamont Poet Gregory Pardlo’s reading less than a week away, we are dedicating this week’s blog post on African American writers to some of the previous Lamont Poets that have visited Phillips Exeter Academy.

Pulitzer-prize winning poet Tyehimba Jess visited campus this past fall as part of the Lamont Poetry Series.  His works include Olio (2016) and leadbelly  (2005).  Next winter, senior English students will have the opportunity to study Jess’s works through an author immersion course.


Lamont Poet (winter 2016) Afaa Michael Weaver’s works include Spirit Boxing (2017), City of Eternal Spring (2014), and The Government of Nature (2013).  To see what other works by Weaver are available at the library, search Biblion, our library catalog.


Another past Lamont Poet (2012) is  Natasha Trethewey, the 19th Poet Laureate for the United States (2012-2014) and a Pulitzer Prize winner (2007).  Works by Trethewey that can be found in the Library’s poetry collection include Thrall (2012), Beyond Katrina (2010), and Native Guard (2006).


Other award-winning poets who have come to campus as part of the Lamont Poetry Series, include Major Jackson (fall 2008), Yusef Komunyakaa (spring 2000), Lucille Clifton (winter 1987), and Gwendolyn Brooks (winter 1986). Their works and a wealth of others can be found in the literature section up on floor 3M.

Looking for poetry to read or listen to online?  Check out these listings of works the Poetry Foundation and Academy of American Poets has compiled in honor of Black History Month.