Immigrant Heritage Month

Celebrate the impact of immigrant writers and their work!

June is Immigrant Heritage Month and we have a number of resources available to help you discover, celebrate, and honor the vast contributions of immigrant and refugee writers in the United States, both past and present.

José Olivarez featured in the American Writers Museum's special exhibit My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today
  • Watch past program videos from the Jeanne M. and John W. Rowe Program Series, presented in conjunction with My America. Featuring contemporary authors like Sandra Cisneros, Laila Lalami, and more.
  • Listen to informative and engaging podcasts with leading writers such as Nicole Chung and Julissa Arce, or learn about writers of the past like Hisaye Yamamoto and Reinaldo Arenas.
  • Book a group tour of the AWM with a focus on immigrant writers and how writing has helped them define and redefine what it means to be “American.”

Explore Online Exhibits

My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today

My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today

In our special exhibit My America, available both online and in person, contemporary immigrant and refugee writers explore themes of community, language, duality, influences, and what it means to be “American.” Acclaimed writers like Marie Arana, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Edwidge Danticat, and more share insights into their craft, process, and how they use writing to define themselves and create worlds where they feel at home.

Classroom resources are available to download as well.

Photo of Hisaye Yamamoto with text that reads, "Hisaye Yamamoto, An American Story"

Hisaye Yamamoto: An American Story

Discover the personal story of Hisaye Yamamoto, a powerful, but perhaps underappreciated, writer who defined a generation of Japanese Americans as she also sought to expose injustices and give voice to the voiceless. Yamamoto and her family were imprisoned by the United States government in a concentration camp during World War II. Learn how writing helped Yamamoto get through that time and how that experience impacted her writing and activism later on.

Explore here on Google Arts & Culture

Watch editor Jennifer Minton Quigley and writers Bindu Bansinath, Aleksandar Hemon, and Laura Lippman discuss their contributions to the essay anthology Lolita in the Afterlife. Hear how and why Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita and a Russian immigrant, mastered the English language.


Over on our YouTube channel we’ve put together a playlist of past programs related to My America..


Pablo Cartaya featured in My America exhibit at the American Writers Museum with quote of his that reads, "We're all immigrants. We all come from somewhere."


Hit the American Writers Museum blog for more Immigrant Heritage Month content.

  • Read Julissa Arce’s “But Where Are You Really From?” essay, on writing for and about Latino youth. Arce is the author of the memoir Someone Like Me, among others, and is featured in My America.
  • Add to your To Be Read pile with this Immigrant Heritage Month booklist from journalist, filmmaker and immigration rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas.


Reyna Grande featured in the American Writers Museum's special exhibit My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today


Tune into these podcasts on immigrant writers of the past and present.