Learning from Students

As the first judge of the Davenport Prize in Nonfiction, it was an honor to read Knox College students’ work. I read essays about odd jobs, trips abroad, brothers, friends, mothers, and hometowns. I read gorgeous prose that came alive on the page and got to see experimental formats and structures. I also had the opportunity to meet with several students one on one and hear about where their ideas came from, what their future plans are, and where they seem themselves in the writing landscape. As one of them remarked, Millenials get a lot of flack for being slackers or entitled, but these students were anything but. These students’ work gives me confidence in the future of creative nonfiction. Congratulations to the winners!