Princeton Writes honored those who entered its second annual staff essay contest at a celebratory reception at Maclean House on June 16. Before a beaming crowd of family, friends, and colleagues, the winner of this year’s Princeton Writes Prize, Bryant Blount, and honorable mention recipients April Armstrong, Violette Chamoun, and Brian Mondschein accepted their certificates, along with autographed copies of On Writing Well by the late William Zinsser ’44.
In his remarks, Princeton Writes’ director, John Weeren, praised contestants for embracing a topic — diversity — that is “so idiosyncratic and so transcendent; so central to an understanding of oneself and others that some fear to unpackage it.” But, he added, “those of you who entered this year’s contest welcomed us into your lives and, in the process, broadened and deepened our definition of what it means to be human.”
The highpoint of the afternoon occurred when Blount read his essay, which captures the nature of otherness by describing his first encounter, as a Princeton undergraduate, with Japanese society. This essay, as well as the work of his fellow honorees, can be found on the Princeton Writes Prize webpage. The reception itself was beautifully documented by local photographer David Kelly Crow, some of whose handiwork can be found below.