Author Archives: American Writers Museum

Why We Should All Read Sarah Piatt’s Poems

In the late 1850s, when a young Sarah Morgan Bryan began to publish her poems in magazines and journals (her first collection, A Woman’s Poems, appeared in 1871 under her married name Sarah Piatt), poetry was one of America’s most popular literary forms. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, and their fellow Fireside Poets […]

Twelve Odd Tales for Christmas

Grinches and reindeer may dominate our annual holiday folklore, yet celebrated American writers also produced seasonal gems less well known today. While these authors’ definitive literary works often overshadow minor prose, resurrect their unusual holiday tales to refresh your December reading list. Commence the Christmas countdown with the following twelve stories. “Christmastide” by H. P. […]

The Windham Campbell Awards

“This spirit of generosity, as well as a love of literature and a profound sympathy for his fellow writers, led Windham to establish the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University.” Such reads a portion of the mission statement for the Windham-Campbell prizes, an award hosted by Yale University and the Beinecke Rare Book Library that […]

Remembering Carrie Fisher, the Writer

Much has been written about Carrie Fisher since her untimely death from a heart attack at the end of 2016. From tributes and retrospectives of her life to commentary on her importance in film history. Particularly for the science fiction genre as her most famous role, Princess Leia, brought a new perspective on how women could […]

Writing Out the Bad Stuff

Last summer someone gutted my new bike. Both wheels and the seat, gone. They left just the sad, lonely frame still locked to the bike rack, looking severely inadequate next to the other bikes. When I first came across it, I stopped walking and stared at it for a while, as if the wheels would […]

Friend or Foe: Writers and their Feuds

Friction among writers has all the earmarks of a good fiction story, but make no mistake; it does exist in real life. Writers have long been associated with harboring resentment over the success of their colleagues, especially when their work has not reached the same levels of popularity. Competition does not always occur on the […]

Faulkner’s Rowan Oak

Slipping through a cold metal turnstile, I enter Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s home in Oxford, Mississippi. The gatekeeper, an Ole Miss graduate student reading a worn-out Thomas Pynchon paperback and wearing leather sandals, accepts my $5 ticket and waves me through into the house. Rowan Oak, a primitive Greek revival house set on four acres […]

“Such Friends:” Maxwell Perkins and F. Scott Fitzgerald

By: Kathleen Dixon Donnelly Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins [1884-1947] and author F. Scott Fitzgerald [1896-1940] were born 12 years and thousands of miles apart. In my research into Perkins’ management style, I learned the details of the interesting story of how they were brought together. When Scott attended the Newman School in New Jersey, he […]

The Strange Sadness of Stephen King’s “It”

For the longest time, I told myself that I would never read any book written by Stephen King. To me, the majority of his work seemed too weird, too scary or something that was likely to give me nightmares. While I had seen movie adaptations of his less terrifying works such as The Shawshank Redemption […]

The Iconic Typewriter

If you have ever watched Madam Secretary on CBS and stayed tuned through the closing credits to the very end, you may have noticed the logo for the show’s production company. It appears for about a second and shows the name of the company, Barbara Hall Productions, in typescript within a pen and ink drawing […]