The American Writers Museum celebrates American writers through innovative, state-of-the-art exhibitions and compelling programming.
Learn what makes Chicago writers distinctive by getting a taste of the challenging, empathic, gorgeous, and dynamic flavor of Chicago writing. Chicago writers are experimenters who challenge the status quo, respect the "everyday man on the street," and incorporate the vernacular into their art. Check out the dynamic video interpretation of "Nelson Algren's Chicago: City on the Make" to get a sense of the duality in Chicago culture: from the squares and the hustlers to the do-gooders and the brokers.
A key factor behind Chicago’s status in the literary world is the network of institutions, businesses, and communities that supported writers and writing infrastructure. In return, writers captured Chicago’s architecture, landscape, and inhabitants through their work. Learn more about Chicago's literary landmarks throughout its history in the interactive Community Intersections map.
You'll find a wealth of information in this gallery's multi-sensory exhibits. The curving rack along the walls features Chicago greats such as Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes. Make sure to try out our "phones" and hear additional clips of famous writers like the one of Studs Terkel and Nelson Algren above.