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The Minnesota Center for the Book is proud to present this collection of writers, from historical to modern times, whose contributions to the state’s literary legacy are profound.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, writers were chosen who have had a meaningful impact on the state, its writing life, and in many cases, the world at large. The placement of the writers was chosen to express either the birthplace of the writer, the place with which the writer is associated, or the location where they spent a majority of their writing life in the state.

The magnitude of Minnesota’s literary legacy is hard to put down on paper, and this map is only one piece in honoring the historical and contemporary writers who call Minnesota home.

Minnesota Writers on the Map is a project of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library as the Minnesota Center for the Book. The Center for the Book is an initiative of the Library of Congress, established by law in 1977 to promote books and libraries, literacy and reading across the country. The Library of Congress has designated a Center for the Book in all 50 states; The Friends was honored with this designation in 2012. The Centers are designed to celebrate each state's literary heritage, strengthen their communities, and foster civic engagement.

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Guidelines for qualification

Writers were chosen to represent a broad range of geographic locations, heritage/backgrounds, genres, and styles, and include writers who:

  • Are/were groundbreaking in their literary style, genre, or age;
  • Had/have significant national or international acclaim (as represented by garnering national or international literary prizes);
  • Have had a strong influence on or in creating Minnesota’s literary reputation; and/or
  • Have created work which illuminates the meaning of what it is to be from or live in Minnesota


The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, as the Library of Congress-designated Minnesota Center for the Book, does not endorse the words or actions of the writers included on this map. Writers were chosen for the reasons listed above, regardless of personal circumstance and behavior or the social mores of the times in which they lived. 

Do you know a MN author who fits these qualifications and should be added to this map?

This project is made possible in part by the State of Minnesota through a grant to the Minnesota Department of Education.

If you are searching for contemporary writers in Minnesota to discover recent work and/or find an author for a presentation at a school, library, or book club, please visit the Minnesota Writers Directory.

Map research and writing by Minnesota Center for the Book Intern Abbey Stellingwerff.

Author icons by artist Chad Nestor.