Literary Site Type: Historical Site

Starr Library

Founded in 1862, the Starr Library is located in Rhinebeck, New York, and is a part of the Mid-Hudson Library system. Formerly located in a historic building in the center of town, it remained in this area for one hundred and thirteen years until it was moved to its current location in 1975.

The library hosts monthly readings, workshops, and author talks, often in collaboration with Morton Memorial Library and the local independent bookseller Oblong Books.

The Ernest A. Finney, Jr. Cultural Arts Center

The Ernest A. Finney, Jr. Cultural Arts Center is a 501c3 organization located at 1510 Laurens Street, Columbia, South Carolina, (formerly the Southern Electric building) that officially opened in the summer of 2022. This new center is home to African American culture, art, and expression. It is also a long-awaited gathering place for community conversations.

James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home and Visitor Center

Built in 1872, this Victorian style home is dedicated to the life and legacy of the “Hoosier Poet,” James Whitcomb Riley. Although Riley never owned the home, he moved in at the peak of his career in 1893 and resided there until his death in 1916. Riley was famous for his “dialect poetry” and performed for audiences from all across the nation. To honor him, Riley’s friends formed the Riley Children’s Foundation and opened the Riley Hospital for Children, one of the premier children’s research hospitals in the world in 1924.

Detroit Public Library: Main Branch

The Detroit Public Library opened for service on March 25, 1865. The five thousand book collection was located in one room of the old Capitol High School on Griswold Street. The Main Library, a white marble Italian Renaissance style building designed by Cass Gilbert and partially funded by a gift from Andrew Carnegie, opened in 1921. The building offers several spaces open to the public for meetings and events, and the library hosts an author reading series, as well as other literary events.

Detroit Public Library

The Poe Museum

The Poe Museum began over a century ago when Edgar Allan Poe collector and researcher James Howard Whitty and a group of literary enthusiasts met in Poe’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia, to create the state’s first monument to a writer. The Poe Museum’s collection is now the most comprehensive in the world and its programs reach thousands of scholars, students, teachers, and literary enthusiasts every year. Museum guests can see such rarities as Poe’s boyhood bed, his clothing, and a lock of his hair.

The Writers Place

The Writers Place is a literary community center, library, and gathering place for writers, readers, and the general public. The center hosts workshops for teens and adults, as well as readings and open mic nights. In addition to three regular reading series, additional readings are held throughout the year by local, regional, and visiting writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Mechanics’ Institute

The Mechanics’ Institute is a leading cultural center that includes a vibrant library, a world-renowned chess program, and a full calendar of engaging cultural events, including author readings, writing workshops, technology classes, civic discussions, book groups, film screenings, and community gatherings. Founded in 1854 to serve the educational and social needs of mechanics—artisans, craftsmen, and inventors—and their families, the Institute today is a favorite of avid readers, writers, downtown employees, chess players, and the twenty-first-century nomadic worker.

Multnomah County Central Library

What is now Multnomah County Library dates its existence from 1864, a time when Portland, Oregon, was a frontier town with frame buildings, muddy streets, and few sidewalks. A small group of citizens met to establish a subscription library and reading room, organizing under the name “Library Association of Portland.”

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Lan Su Chinese Garden is a nonprofit botanical garden that frequently hosts a variety of workshops, classes, lectures and readings, performances, and exhibits. During the year, members and visitors alike have the opportunity to experience a variety of activities, including Tea & Poetry, which enhance visitors’ understanding of Chinese culture and provide opportunities to learn and play. All activities, unless otherwise noted, are free with membership or admission.

Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Steepletop

Visitors to Steepletop, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s home in Austerlitz, New York, can see the gardens, walk the Poetry Trail created by the Friends of the Millay Society, visit the gallery in the Visitors Center at Tamarack Cottage, and purchase Millay memorabilia and books at the gift shop. Tours of the home and grounds are available Fridays through Mondays. Check the website before visiting for more information on ongoing renovations.


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