American Writers

Ada Limón is the United States' 24th poet laureate.

Women Who Shaped History

Ada Limón Is a Poet Laureate for the 21st Century

Her work explores "what it looks like to have America in the room"

Ernest Hemingway and his middle son, Patrick, pose with a record 119.5-pound Atlantic sailfish caught off Key West, Florida, in May 1934.

Archive of Ernest Hemingway Writings, Photos Opens to the Public for the First Time

Privately owned for decades, the materials include a short story featuring F. Scott Fitzgerald, personal effects and rough drafts

Loving Highsmith aims to challenge crime author Patricia Highsmith’s reputation as a cold-hearted misanthrope.

Was Patricia Highsmith Actually a Hopeless Romantic?

The documentary 'Loving Highsmith' presents a new side of the enigmatic crime writer

On August 19, crowds gathered at the New York Public Library in solidarity with Salman Rushdie.

As Salman Rushdie Recovers, Renowned Writers Read Aloud From His Work

Paul Auster, Jeffrey Eugenides and others championed free speech at the New York Public Library

Contestants work under time pressure to pitch ideas and write complete novels. 

New Reality Show Is Looking for 'America's Next Great Author'

Applications are open for aspiring writers who want to appear in the pilot episode

In “EmilyBlaster,” the gameplay is shooting at words to form Emily Dickinson poems.

You Can Now Play 'EmilyBlaster,' a Video Game Inspired by Emily Dickinson's Poetry

Players assemble poems by shooting at words in the '80s-style adventure

If Thornton Jenkins Hains ever spoke about the Titanic or his short-lived fame in the aftermath of the disaster, those thoughts are now lost to history.

Twice Accused of Murder, This Writer Later Foresaw the Sinking of the Titanic

Under the pseudonym Mayn Clew Garnett, author Thornton Jenkins Hains published a maritime disaster story with eerie parallels to the real-life tragedy

Last Call at the Hotel Imperial centers on journalists Dorothy Thompson, John Gunther, H.R. Knickerbocker and Jimmy Vincent Sheean.

A Century Ago, American Reporters Foresaw the Rise of Authoritarianism in Europe

A new book tells the stories of four interwar writers who laid the groundwork for modern journalism

Toshio Mori's Yokohama, California was slated for publication in fall 1942. Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor—and Mori's incarceration under Executive Order 9066—delayed the short story collection's release until 1949.

The Fascinating—and Harrowing—Tale of the First Japanese American to Publish a Book of Fiction

After his incarceration during WWII, Toshio Mori released a collection of short stories based on his experiences as a second generation Asian immigrant

A first edition of Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), written while the poet was enslaved to John Wheatley of Boston. The book has a brown leather cover, the original Morocco spine label and a frontispiece featuring a portrait of Phillis by Scipio Morehead.


 

Women Who Shaped History

How Phillis Wheatley Beat All Expectations

The Revolution-era Boston establishment couldn't believe that the young African American woman wrote the exquisite book of poetry

bell hooks, pictured in 1999

Women Who Shaped History

Groundbreaking Feminist Scholar bell hooks Dies at 69

The prolific American writer shaped a generation of discourse around Black feminism and intersectionality

The fact that Osgood’s collection survives intact—or at all—is notable and perhaps inseparable from her lifelong friendship with a famous writer.

Women Who Shaped History

In 19th-Century New England, This Amateur Geologist Created Her Own Cabinet of Curiosities

A friend of Henry David Thoreau, Ellen Sewall Osgood's pursuit of her scientific passion illuminates the limits and possibilities placed on the era's women

Butler is not just a talented writer, says curator Monica Montgomery. She is “this magnifying, visionary author and was and is a social justice warrior for our times.”

Futures

The Pioneering Sci-Fi Writer Octavia E. Butler Joins a Pantheon of Celebrated Futurists

The author’s career is honored by a newly commissioned work by digital artist Nettrice Gaskins

Plath's recipe cards and rolling pin reflect her love of cooking—and her conflicted relationship with domestic life.

Explore Sylvia Plath's Love Letters, Recipe Cards and Tarot Deck

A trove of the American poet's personal possessions recently sold at auction for more than $1 million

Astronaut Sally Ride (left) and poet Maya Angelou (right) will be the first individuals honored through the American Women Quarters Program.

Women Who Shaped History

Maya Angelou, Sally Ride to Be Among First Women Featured on U.S. Quarters

Between 2022 and 2025, the U.S. Mint is set to highlight up to 20 trailblazing American women

A 1928 photograph of Ernest Hemingway, held in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, was taken in Paris by the artist Man Ray after the legendary writer suffered a life-threatening head injury.

In Search of the Authentic Ernest Hemingway

Take a deep-dive into the story behind this rarely published Smithsonian portrait of the legendary writer

This month's book picks include The Light of Days, The Musical Human and Empire of Ants.

Books of the Month

Women Resistance Fighters of WWII, the Secret Lives of Ants and Other New Books to Read

These April releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

Through her literary works, “Kindred”, “Bloodchild”, “Parable of the Sower”, Butler explored themes of global warming, gender equality, political disparity and racism and as a result is known as the “mother” of Afrofuturism.

Mars' Perseverance Landing Site Named After Science Fiction Author Octavia E. Butler

The Jezero crater location has been named 'Octavia E. Butler Landing' in honor of the late literary giant

This month's book picks include Icebound, A Shot in the Moonlight and The Eagles of Heart Mountain.

Books of the Month

A Doomed Arctic Expedition, Number-Free Math and Other New Books to Read

These five January releases may have been lost in the news cycle

Erle Stanley Gardner is best remembered as a novelist. But he was also a lawyer deeply concerned about victims of injustice. “It is too easy to convict innocent persons,” he wrote in a 1959 letter to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

The Case of the Autographed Corpse

The author of the Perry Mason novels rose to the defense of an Apache shaman who was falsely convicted of killing his wife

loading icon