The American Writer’s Museum, located at 180 N. Michigan in Chicago, is the only museum in the nation dedicated solely to writers. This interactive museum opened in 2010 and features several hands-on galleries and exhibits. The current exhibit features the writings of folk and rock and roll musician Bob Dylan.
Students in Jenn Jepsen and Shatha Odeh’s Creative Writing classes toured the museum, which included hands-on writing lessons, audio excerpts from important literature pieces, magnetic story writing, a writing exhibit dedicated solely to Chicago writers, a children’s literature room, and an ever-changing waterfall of quotes. The student favorite undoubtedly was the typewriter table. Students wrote original stories on old typewriters; some took their stories home and some left them to be read by future visitors. Creative writer Omar Nemri said, “Writing on a typewriter made writing more of an experience rather than just a task.”
Creative writers prepared for the field trip through journaling and poetry analysis. Students reflected on what it means to be an American and how American identity has changed over the centuries. Creative Writing teacher Jenn Jepsen said the American Writer’s Museum field trip will be a staple in the Creative Writing curriculum. The museum reflects many of the writing activities students do in class, for Creative Writing is a class that specifically addresses writer’s craft while students experiment with poetry, memoir, fiction, and satire.