Nathaniel Philbrick to Receive Library’s Harris Collection Literary Award

Nathaniel Philbrick

On Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, the Brown University Library and Friends of the Library will present the Harris Collection Literary Award to renowned author and historian, Nathaniel Philbrick ’78, P’08. A brief awards ceremony will kick off the event, followed by an interview with Philbrick, led by Associate Professor of History, Linford Fisher. A reception will follow.


Mr. Philbrick is happy to sign books brought to the event at the reception following the interview program. (Books will not be sold at the event.)

Nathaniel Philbrick

Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Linden Elementary School and Taylor Allderdice High School. He earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI. After working as an editor at Sailing World magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind, and Yaahting, A Parody.

In 1986, Philbrick moved to Nantucket with his wife Melissa and their two children. In 1994, he published his first book about the island’s history, Away Off Shore, followed by a study of the Nantucket’s native legacy titled Abram’s Eyes. He is the founding director of the Egan Maritime Institute and a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.

In 2000, he published the New York Times bestseller, In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction, followed by Sea of Glory, winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society, and Mayflower, finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction. His writing has also appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. He has appeared on the Today Show, the Morning Show, Dateline, PBS’s American Experience, CSPAN, and NPR.

Linford D. Fisher

Linford Fisher is an Associate Professor of History here at Brown. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in 2008. Professor Fisher’s research and teaching relate primarily to the cultural and religious history of colonial America and the Atlantic world, including Native Americans, religion, material culture, and Indian and African slavery and servitude. He is the author or co-author of two books and over a dozen articles and book chapters, and is currently writing a book on the history of Native American and African enslavement in the English Atlantic world.

Caleb Fiske Harris Collection Literary Award

The Caleb Fiske Harris Collection Literary Award recognizes leaders in the creative community for their outstanding contributions to American literature. Inspired by the love of the arts demonstrated by Caleb Fiske Harris, Brown class of 1838, during his lifetime, the award celebrates the influence of literature in popular culture. Please visit the Harris Collection Literary Award website for more information about this exciting event, the Harris Collection Literary Award, and past recipients, George RR Martin and Tom Doherty.

Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays

The Brown University Library’s Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays is comprised of American and Canadian poetry, plays, and vocal music dating from 1609 to the present. It is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind in any research library. The extensive holdings include the works of most American and Canadian poets and playwrights from the 18th century to the present day — from Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe to many less well-known artists.

This event is brought to campus by the Friends of the Brown University Library.


Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Salomon Center for Teaching and Learning, De Ciccio Family Auditorium