Finding My America at the American Writers Museum

In our art and culture podcast, Episode 3- Finding My America at the America Writers Museum, we continue our tour of the refugee experience in Chicago. We visit with museum president Carey Cranston, and listen in on museum recordings from personal interviews featuring writers Ngozi Ukazu, Viet Thanh Nguyen and Dina Nayeri. We also read from written vignettes contributed by visitors who join the experiment by sharing their immigrant or refugee stories. The stage is set as we hear from perhaps more familiar voices from America’s literary history: Updike, Wright, Dickinson, Dos Passos and McCullers. Together with these new voices our cultural identity is influenced, continually develops and is transformed through American artistry. Stay tuned to the episode close to hear the unique story of refugee Behrouz Boochani, a refugee Iranian Kurd, who secretly transmits writings from a “purgatory” in Papua New Guinea.

My America-Immigrant and Refugee Writers Now is a special exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago running through May of 2021. Representing writers from fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, children’s literature and other writing forms, the theme that unifies is that these living artists express their American expereince from their position as newcomers to the US or as sons and daughters of immigrants and refugees. Writers tell their personal stories conveyed through interactive multimedia exhibits. In a one-to-one experience, we learn of their writing influences, being multilingual, their places within community and family, and what it means to be American. Often this means maintaining a balance of their cultural heritage and identity as they find their artisitc voices through feelings of duality, otherness, and belonging to more than one home.

It is framed by the permanent exhibits which take visitors through the history of American writing and the individuas who make up the artistic journey through time and the development of our American identity.

More information at the American Writers Museum-click text below:

My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today

Published by Vincent Hostak

Vincent Hostak, vmh, is a writer, podcaster and filmmaker. His poetry has appeared in Sonder Midwest, Tejascovido and the Langdon Review of the Arts. Vince is Executive Producer of Crossings-the Refugee Experience in America Podcast.

2 thoughts on “Finding My America at the American Writers Museum

    1. Thanks for stopping by to listen and comment, Chris. Appreciate your ears and the mind in between them. There’s much more to come on subjects of refugee themes in the arts and climate change as an emergent driver.


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