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“There is a void in the American museum world. We collect in central points the artifacts of civilization and honor politicians and soldiers, athletes and artists, inventors and entrepreneurs, but we neglect our writers. In a country established as an idea explicated in written documents and embellished by generations of poets, novelists, and critics, the case for commemorating the written word is self-evident. After all, what is written describes a people and what is celebrated defines their values.”
—Jim Leach, former Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities
Today, the American Writers Museum Foundation is addressing this profound omission through its commitment to establishing the American Writers Museum.
The American Writers Museum will:
Through innovative and dynamic state-of-the-art exhibitions, as well as compelling programming, the American Writers Museum will educate, enrich, provoke, and inspire the public.
The idea of an American Writers Museum seems to me long overdue. The literate world has known and prized American writers since the generation of Emerson and Thoreau. Whitman and Emily Dickinson have influenced poets and readers in English and in translation into many languages. The great current continues, and a museum honoring and portraying American writing would be an honor to the suffering and vision from which our literature came.
W.S. Merwin, former U.S. Poet Laureate