American Authors of Short Stories – Part Two

Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980) was born Callie Russel Porter to Harrison Boone Porter and Mary Alice (Jones) Porter.  Her father had a cousin who was an American writer: O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter.   Perhaps those literary genes ran in the family.  When Callie was two years old, her mother died and […]

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 […]

Write In: Inspiration at the AWM by Georgia B. and Alexis R.

Georgia, Alexis, and their classmates visited the AWM in November and participated in the Write In program for middle and high school students. Write In combines the unique experience of a museum visit with specially-designed curricula that aims to increase students’ knowledge about American writers as well as boost their confidence as writers. Since the museum opened […]

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 […]

Write In: Learning from Mistakes by Yesenia Sanchez

Yesenia and her classmates visited the AWM in November and participated in the Write In program for middle and high school students. Write In combines the unique experience of a museum visit with specially-designed curricula that aims to increase students’ knowledge about American writers as well as boost their confidence as writers. Since the museum […]

Ways the World Ends

Various American authors, both in-genre and out of it, have depicted the end of the world as we know it. Some are more interested in the how and why, while in others the end of the world is in the background rather than the fore. Some stories climax in the apocalypse, while others use it […]

Erma Bombeck

With her usual wit and humor the writer Erma Bombeck wrote, “It’s frightening to wake up one morning and discover that while you were asleep you went out of style.” Erma may have predicted her future.   I went to the local used book store hoping to find at least one of her twelve books, nine […]

The Wow Factor: A Visit to Mark Twain’s Grand Mansion in Hartford

“This entry hall really has the ‘wow factor,’” our tour guide drily announces, gesturing at the lavish dark-wood staircase spiraling above the foyer. The Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, built in 1874, is a towering mansion in the High Gothic style. Home to Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), his wife Olivia, and their three […]