- Explore virtual exhibits like My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today, in which more than 30 leading writers share their immigrant experiences and those of their families, and how that has shaped their lives and work.
Immigrant Heritage Month Resources
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.PLAN YOUR VISIT
- 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.”
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.
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.
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.
Contributing writers discuss the new essay anthology "Lolita in the Afterlife."American Writers Museum presents a conversation with contributing writers to the new essay anthology "Lolita in the Afterlife: On Beauty, Risk, and Reckoning with the Most Indelible and Shocking Novel of the Twentieth Century." Jennifer Minton Quigley, editor of the anthology, is joined by writers Bindu Bansinath, Aleksandar Hemon, and Laura Lippman. This conversation took place March 31, 2021 and was recorded live.
Visit our page at Bookshop.org to order your copy of "Lolita in the Afterlife." Click here: https://bookshop.org/lists/2021-programs
For a full list of upcoming American Writers Museum programs, click here: https://americanwritersmuseum.org/calendar/
Over on our YouTube channel we’ve put together a playlist of past programs related to My America..
- Writers Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and T Kira Madden discuss their work and contributions to the anthology Go Home!, in which Asian diasporic writers reimagine home in the 21st Century.
- Historian Dominic A. Pacyga and author Sara Paretsky, both of Polish heritage, discuss Pacyga’s book American Warsaw: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of Polish Chicago.
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.
Tune into these podcasts on immigrant writers of the past and present.
- Journalist Elly Fishman discusses her book Refugee High: Coming of Age in America with award-winning author Alex Kotlowitz.
- Learn about the life and legacy of Reinaldo Arenas, the Cuban-born author who fled to the U.S. after being persecuted for his political beliefs and open homosexuality.
- Former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on his recent book Every Day We Get More Illegal.