Top 5 Reasons to Visit the American Writers Museum in September

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!

Don’t let the impending end of summer bring you down. Instead, bring yourself to the American Writers Museum in September for a number of exciting events and author programs! Plus, this month is your last chance to explore our special exhibit Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice, as it is closing September 17.

So plan your visit today!

Check out what we have lined up in September 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. Kathleen Rooney: From Dust to Stardust (September 6, 6:00 pm CDT)

Photo of Kathleen Rooney and book cover of "From Dust to Stardust"

From Kathleen Rooney, the bestselling author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, comes a new novel about Hollywood, the cost of stardom, and selfless second acts, inspired by the extraordinary true story of Colleen Moore—the original flapper of silent films. Her professional life in flux, Rooney’s protagonist Doreen O’Dare trades one dream for another. She pours her wealth and creative energy into a singular achievement: the construction of a one-ton miniature Fairy Castle, the likes of which the world has never seen. So begins Doreen’s public tour to lift the nation’s spirits during the Great Depression―and a personal journey worth remembering. A sweeping journey from the dawn of the motion picture era through turbulent twentieth-century America, From Dust to Stardust is a breathtaking novel about one determined woman navigating change, challenging the price of fame, and sharing the gift of real magic.

Rooney discusses her new novel live at the American Writers Museum, followed by a book signing. She is joined in conversation by writer and Northwestern University lecturer Ignatius Aloysius. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Get your tickets here. This program will also be livestreamed, and you can register for the viewing link here.

2. Tom Piazza: The Auburn Conference (September 10, 1:00 pm CDT)

Photo of Tom Piazza and book cover of The Auburn Conference

Join us for a Sunday afternoon program with celebrated author Tom Piazza who reads from and discusses his recent novel The Auburn Conference. It is 1883, and America is at a crossroads. At a tiny college in Upstate New York, an idealistic young professor has managed to convince Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Confederate memoirist Forrest Taylor, and romance novelist Lucy Comstock to participate in the first (and last) Auburn Writers’ Conference for a public discussion about the future of the nation. By turns brilliantly comic and startlingly prescient, The Auburn Conference vibrates with questions as alive and urgent today as they were in 1883—the chronic American conundrums of race, class, and gender, and the fate of the democratic ideal.

Piazza discusses his novel live at the American Writers Museum, followed by a book signing. He is joined in conversation by Booklist editor and author Donna Seaman. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Get your tickets here. This program will also be livestreamed, and you can register for the viewing link here.

3. Get Lit: Grown-Up Book Fair (September 12, 5:30 pm CDT)

Get Lit: Grown-Up Book Fair

We’re going back to school in style at our next Get Lit happy hour event! It’s just like the book fairs you remember as a kid, except now that you’re an adult you can attend a book fair with beer, wine, and the signature cocktail: The Bookworm’s Bellini. Nonalcoholic options are available as well. Explore all of our exhibits, including Dark Testament before it closes, as you enjoy the back-to-school season with carnival games, stacks of books to peruse and purchase, an adult spelling bee (with prizes!), a bookmark craft station, and more. You must be 21+ to attend, so leave the kids at home and embrace your inner child at the Grown-Up Book Fair! Get your tickets here.

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.

4. In Conversation with Pearl Cleage (September 26, 6:00 pm CDT)

Photos of Pearl Cleage and Marti Lyons

We are thrilled to partner with our friends at the Remy Bumppo Theatre Company to host a conversation with Blues for an Alabama Sky playwright, Pearl Cleage! Join us for this in-depth Zoom discussion led by Remy Bumppo Artistic Director Marti Lyons and learn more about Pearl Cleage’s career and impact.

Register for the viewing link here.

5. Melted in the Pot: Hispanic Heritage Month Tours (beginning September 14, offered daily at 2 pm CDT when the AWM is open)

Melted in the Pot: Hispanic Heritage Month Tours

“They’d like to think I have melted in the pot. But I haven’t, we haven’t.” —Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza.

The voices of Hispanic writers have always been a part of the American literary landscape. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the incredible writing and achievements of Hispanic writers, from the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City to the first Latino to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Immerse yourself in the rich history, captivating stories, and profound contributions of Hispanic writers, poets, and authors who have shaped American writing. Spanish-language tours will be offered Saturdays at 3:30 pm.

This 15-minute tour introduces you to all areas of the Museum and following the tour you can explore all of our exhibits more in-depth. Melted in the Pot is offered daily at 2:00 pm when the American Writers Museum is open. The tour is included with admission and no advanced registration is required. Tours begin at the Museum front desk. Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content