Just a short note on a recent discovery:
An extremely interactive museum focused on American writers and their work, The American Writers Museum (AWM), opens in Chicago, IL on May 16, 2017. Visitors are encouraged to explore through touchscreens and “…high-tech multimedia installations..like a mesmerizing ‘Word Waterfall,’ in which a wall of densely packed, seemingly random words is revealed, through a constantly looping light projection, to contain resonant literary quotations.” The museum will offer temporary and permanent exhibits, feature only deceased authors, and rely on a leadership team, rather than a dedicated curator.
AWM’s website features a Literary America Map with literary homes & museums throughout the U.S., as well as directories of Book Festivals, Literary Organizations, and American Author Societies. There are two online exhibits accessible through AWM’s website as of now but I anticipate other digital offerings will be added as the organization grows. And for those travelers looking for literary landmarks closer to home, United for Libraries (a division of The American Library Association) has a list of hot spots by state.
Looks like my next road trip should include Room 222 at the Strater Hotel in Durango, CO where Louis L’Amour wrote a few novels. Closer to home, Jack Keruoac and others categorized as “Beat Writers” used to hang out at My Brother’s Bar and other spots in Denver. So if you can’t make it to this museum in Chicago, explore some hidden gems closer to home. Creative inspiration might be closer than you think.
Happy literary wandering!