Prospect is a bi-annual anthology of nonfiction writing selected from work produced by students taking creative nonfiction and advanced nonfiction writing courses in the Nonfiction Writing Program at Brown University.
This image is also from "Yachts by Herreshoff," a catalogue (circa 1935) of yachts built by the Herreshoff Company in Bristol, Rhode Island. It is a reproduction of a print made from a drawing by R. F. Paterson, depicting the 'Vigilant' in the America's Cup race in 1893.
Our introductory courses in creative nonfiction offer students a chance to practice the basics of creative nonfiction narrative and essay writing. Students are introduced to a range of literary techniques drawn from fiction and poetry, techniques of style, language and story-telling chosen to enrich the kinds of reflection, observation, analysis, research and reporting essential to fact-based writing. Our advanced courses are intended for students who show potential for professional standards of writing. Advanced writers produce work in specialized genres such as memoir, lifewriting (including diaries and letters), literary journalism, travel writing, science writing, historical narrative, literary cultural analysis, the personal essay, the lyric essay, the exploratory and experimental essay. Our goal is to demonstrate, as the literary critic Sven Birkerts says, "What happens in the world...is far more unlikely and interesting than what a novelist can invent."
The name "Prospect" was chosen for our anthology because we wanted a Brown name with Providence connections, and connotations of journeying, moving forward, pioneering, sailing to new waters. Prospect Street holds the libraries from which some of our stories and essays come, and it ends at Horace Mann (former home of the English department), where this anthology was originally conceived. Prospect represents the myriad venues for which our students construct, revise, and perform their pieces -- with the prospect of possible publication, here and elsewhere.
The pieces featured in each issue of Prospect represent some of the best writing coming out of both our introductory and advanced classes. The winter issue includes the winner of the Barbara Banks Brodsky Award for Excellence in Real World Writing, a contest held each fall. The spring issue also includes award-winning entries from the Casey Shearer Award in Creative Nonfiction, a contest held each spring semester. Submissions to Prospect are by invitation of the editors, Beth Taylor and Catherine Imbriglio. We hope the pieces found here will serve as inspiration, not only for the writers in our program, but for nonfiction writers everywhere.