“I only belong in places I create. And that has been, I think, the most important thing I’ve learned in my brief life so far, is that I can make worlds. That’s literally my job is to make worlds. I can make them for myself, I can make them for other people, I can put them in books. So instead of searching for other people to give me a place to belong I just bent one into existence myself.”
Historian Dominic A. Pacyga grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a working class Polish family. His grandparents had moved to the United States before World War I and Dominic heard the sounds of the Polish language and celebrated Polish customs throughout his early life. So it comes as no surprise that Pacyga’s […]
This week we are showcasing four stories of immigration and migration. From a first generation American, to someone whose family may have been on the Mayflower – everyone has a story. Share yours in the comments!
I became a writer because I grew up with storytellers, oral storytellers. Some of them did not even know how to read. But they sure could spin a tale. My grandmothers and my aunts could liven up a place by just telling a story… Often in their ordinary interaction with us, especially as children, they were very stern…they didn’t seem like fun people. But when they were telling a story they came to life. And there was something from a very young age I realized was transformative about the process of telling a story.
Rebecca Deng hasn’t had an easy life. Born in what is now South Sudan, her mother passed away when Deng was just two years old. Despite that, Deng lived a rather peaceful life until it was turned upside down in 1991 when the Second Sudanese Civil War reached her village of Duk Padiet and “everything was […]
Happy Thanksgiving from the American Writers Museum! This week we are featuring stories that relate to the holiday, including visits with family, special food, and a lovely wish for the season.
“I remember the first time I felt seen in poetry…It was the first time I’d taken a class where all of the readings were by Black, Brown, and Indigenous women. I’d finally felt sustenance.
Every week, the AWM shares stories written by Museum visitors. This week, we feature immigration stories from visitors to the new My America exhibit. Visit the Museum to see the exhibit and share your immigrant story. If you can’t make it in, feel free to share your story in the comments!
Throughout his life, people have been telling Pablo Cartaya to stop speaking Spanish. When he got to kindergarten his teacher told him they don’t speak Spanish in the classroom, even though that was the only language he knew at the time. Fast forward to graduate school when his advisor told him he doesn’t have to use so much Spanish in his work, he could write something normal. But Spanish is normal to Cartaya, so he didn’t listen.
This week we’re featuring a fun poem written by one of our friends from the Shedd Aquarium about their amazing beluga whales. It’s great to know how much the people there bond with and care about the animals. Thanks for writing!