Abstract of the Terms of the Scholarship from Amy Lowell’s Will, as Modified by the
Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, Norfolk Division, on January 23, 2008
My trustees shall appoint a committee to be composed of one member of the English Department of Harvard University and of two poets of recognized standing (preference being given to those of progressive literary tendencies) and of the trustees themselves who collectively shall count as one. This committee shall each year name to receive the scholarship a poet of American birth and of good standing or able promise, preference again being given to those of progressive literary tendencies. By accepting the scholarship, the recipient shall agree with the trustees to spend one year outside of the Continent of North America in whatever place the recipient deems best suited to advance the art of poetry as practiced by him, and at the end of the year the recipient is to submit at least three poems for consideration by the committee. The trustees shall pay over to the recipient $50,000 [adjusted annually for inflation after 2008]. Such payments, however, shall cease if the recipient during the year returns to the Continent of North America for any reason or any period which seems unreasonable to the committee, said committee having the sole right to determine what is reasonable. Mere vacations shall not be considered reasonable. At the end of the year upon the submission of at least three poems to the committee, if these poems be considered of sufficient merit, they may award the same poet a second consecutive annual scholarship in the amount determined as set forth above for the succeeding year, so that, in any year in which a scholarship recipient is awarded a second consecutive annual scholarship, there shall be two Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarships awarded that year, both in the same amount.
If the committee determines that two applications for the Scholarship for any given Scholarship year are of such exceptionally equal merit that to award the Scholarship to only one applicant would distinguish arbitrarily between the two, they may award scholarships for that year to both applicants, each in the amount determined as set forth . . . above. A second scholarship may not be awarded [under this paragraph and also under the preceding paragraph], and not more than one additional Scholarship may be awarded for a single Scholarship year . . . so that there shall never be more than two Scholarships awarded for any one year.
In case any person to whom the scholarship is awarded does not agree to comply with the conditions, the committee may award the scholarship to another. The aim of the committee shall be to avoid the extremes of academic conservatism on the one hand or of that radicalism which springs from a desire for effect and not from sincerity, on the other. If at the end of a second year of travel the poems of the recipient of the scholarship shall be considered by the committee to be of sufficient merit, the committee may collect into a volume and publish the same, the expenses of publication to be paid out of the income of this trust fund. The edition shall be known as a publication of the “Amy Lowell Travelling Scholarship Fund.” Any returns from such publication beyond the expenses of publication shall be paid to the poet whose poems are published. After the first edition is exhausted or at any previous time in the discretion of the committee, all rights in such publication shall be assigned to the author. The members of the committee shall serve for a term of ten years and be subject to reappointment. The trustees shall have power to fill vacancies caused by death or resignation. The trustees shall collectively have one vote; in case of an even division of opinion in the committee as to any question, the decision of the trustees shall be final.
Back to Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship Home Page