Chicago – Home to the new American Writer’s Museum
From Gwendolyn Brooks, to Ernest Hemingway, to Shel Silverstein.
Chicago is known for producing notable writers and has now become home to the American Writer’s Museum, which opened in May this year.
This National Museum tells the stories of American writers and their influence on the history, identity and culture of the US. Nearly 400 years of writing is celebrated using lots of interactive exhibits, film and changing display spaces. There are special author events, children’s story-time and specialist talks on an almost daily basis, which can be booked online through the Museum’s web site americanwritersmuseum.org
One of the many permanent exhibits is called “The Mind of The Writer”. This Writer’s Room features two touch screen tables, that display book titles which visitors can open to show edits on famous manuscripts, learn more about the author’s work, and explore it’s historical and literary context. You can get a new insight into an old favourite or discover something new and unfamiliar.
This room also features “Story of the Day”. Every morning staff choose an opening line from an American book, poem, essay or short story and visitors are encouraged to add a line so that the story can spin off in any direction, maybe rewriting an American classic.
Carey Cranston, President of the Museum, told Mariella Frostrup on BBC radio 4 that, “it’s not meant to be a Hall of Fame or a best of, instead it’s meant to be a dialogue, where people ask, how do these writers come together?”
The Museum is open from Tuesday – Sunday and also some holiday Mondays, check web site for details. If you live in Chicago and have visited or plan to visit we’d love to hear what you think and see your pictures.