We have plenty of events and exhibits that are some of the top things to do in Chicago this month. Celebrate American writing with us!
April showers bring…fun things to do at the American Writers Museum! April is National Poetry Month, Earth Month, and National Letter Writing Month and we have ways to celebrate them all, both in person and online. Check out what we have lined up in April below and subscribe to our e-newsletter below to stay up-to-date on all that’s happening. Also, AWM members get free admission to the AWM and most programs, so if you’re not already a member, become a member today!
1. Get (Green) Lit: Mini Golf, Big Vibes (April 11, 5:30 pm CDT)
This month at Get Lit, our monthly happy hour series, we’re turning the American Writers Museum into a nine-hole mini golf course! Play specially designed holes in our galleries while enjoying beer, wine, and our signature cocktail The Sandtrap: a boozy Arnold Palmer. With the Masters in full swing this weekend, each hole is themed on a “Master of Writing” such as James Baldwin, Julia Child, Maya Angelou and more. Plus, joining us this evening is special guest Tom Coyne, golf writer and author of the New York Times bestselling book A Course Called America: Fifty States, Five Thousand Fairways and the Search for the Great American Golf Course, which will be available for sale the night of the event. Tom will also sign books and, if you’re lucky, maybe even give you some pointers on your backswing. We also have a number of prizes to give away from Koval Distillery, Five Iron Golf, and Sofar Sounds and all you need to do to qualify is finish a round of mini golf! Reserve your tee time and get your tickets today.
Get Lit events take place the second Tuesday of every month from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Each month will have a different theme, so check out upcoming Get Lit events here and be sure to check back regularly as we announce more Get Lit events throughout the year.
2. National Poetry Month
April is National Poetry Month and we have many ways to celebrate. First, peruse our National Poetry Month Resources page where you’ll find inspiring podcasts with former U.S. Poet Laureates, informative podcasts about poets of the past, watch poetry readings and more. Then, visit the AWM in person for even more poetry! Our exhibits are full of influential and powerful poets like Phillis Wheatley, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and many more. We especially recommend spending time in our special exhibit Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice. This exhibit spanning two gallery spaces takes its name from Pauli Murray’s poetry collection Dark Testament and features deep dives into the work of poets like Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and more. You can also explore Murray’s life and work in our virtual exhibit Pauli Murray: Survival with Dignity.
3. Earth Month and Earth Day (April 22)
April is also a great time to engage with the natural world and learn about writers who have used their words to advocate for conservation and preservation of our environment. Earth Day is April 22, but every day is a good day to care for the Earth. Check out our Earth Day Resources page to learn more about climate change, get involved in environmental activism, connect with nature, and more. Find inspiration in the writing and environmental activism of writers of the past like Rachel Carson and John Muir who were some of the first prominent writers to champion the importance of saving nature. Discover reading recommendations for environmentally conscious writers, science writing to humble you, and quotes to inspire you. Plus, revisit our past exhibit Palm: All Awake in the Darkness, inspired by the work of W. S. Merwin whose work combines poetry and environmental conservation.
4. National Letter Writing Month
This month also happens to be National Letter Writing Month so it is a great time to reconnect with the lost art of letter writing. Visit the American Writers Museum and use one of our many vintage typewriters to write a special letter! We have stamped envelopes ready for you and we’ll even take an instant photo of you at the typewriter to send along with it. Write a letter to a loved one, a pen pal, a longtime friend, your grandparents…everyone likes to get a letter in the mail! Since April is Earth Month, we also suggest writing a letter to your government representatives about the importance of tackling climate change head on before it’s too late. Plan your visit today!
5. Trailblazing Women Writers Tour
By popular demand, our Trailblazing Women Writers Tours will be offered through May 15! Discover the women of American literature on the Trailblazing Women Writers Tour, highlighting the accomplishments and contributions of women who changed the course of history with their words. This 15-minute tour introduces you to all areas of the American Writers Museum, and following the tour you can explore all of our exhibits more in depth and at your own pace. The Trailblazing Women Writers Tour is offered daily at 3:00 pm when the AWM is open. We are open Thursdays to Mondays, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. We are closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The tour is included with museum admission and no advanced registration is required. Tours begin at the Museum front desk. Learn more here!