Willa Cather

Cather Sesquicentennial

Commemorating 150 Years

The National Willa Cather Center is pleased to announce that it will commemorate acclaimed novelist Willa Cather’s 150th birthday with a host of special events. This monumental year is also the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, as well as the publication centenaries for A Lost Lady and April Twilights and Other Poems.

Willa Cather’s prolific writing career and contributions to American letters has been honored nationally in 2023 when her statue was unveiled as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol. Cather is the first Pulitzer Prize-winner and the twelfth woman represented in the collection. Sculptor Littleton Alston is the first African American artist to be represented in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

Another significant initiative underway is the restoration of the Willa Cather Childhood Home. This National Historic Landmark was Cather’s residence between the ages of ten to sixteen. Notable for its preserved vernacular style and original wallpaper in Cather’s attic bedroom, the site will reopen to visitors in the latter half of 2023. The restoration is made possible in part by a Save America’s Treasures grant from the National Park Service, with matching funds provided by the Willa Cather Foundation’s Campaign for the Future

Book clubs and teachers around the country are encouraged to explore discussion questions and curriculum support resources at or to download the National Willa Cather Center app for virtual tours. Communities throughout the United States who would like to request a speaker or are interested in hosting a Cather event should contact the National Willa Cather Center at 402-746-2653 or

Cather 150 — 2023 Schedule of Events

  • Through Nov 30 — Willa Cather and Material Culture: A Sesquicentennial Reflection, featuring photographs by Betty Kort, FREE • Grand Island Public Library, Grand Island, NE
  • Nov 26 — A Pittsburgh Playlist: Celebrating Willa Cather at 150 , 7:00-8:30 p.m. •  Academics and scholars from regional universities will read selections from Cather's fiction, journalism, and letters written or set in Pittsburgh between 1896 and 1929 • Birthday cookies will be served! •  Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Nov 28 — Willa Cather Phi Beta Kappa Induction, 4:00 p.m. • The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and the Cather Project are partnering to induct the late Willa Cather as an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa • Featured remarks from Carson Vaughan: freelance writer, UNL alum, and PBK member •UNL's Love Library,  Lincoln, NE
  • Dec 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30 (and Dec 7) — Celebrating Cather at 150: Guided Holiday Tours departing from the National Willa Cather Center each Saturday in December, and on Willa Cather's 150th birthday on December 7 • Red Cloud, NE • Reservations required
  • Dec 7 — O Pie-and-Beers!, The Beer Hall, Zipline Brewing Company, Lincoln, NE • Sponsored by the Cather Archive 
  • Dec 7 — Benjamin Taylor Book Launch & Reading for Chasing Bright Medusas: A Life of Willa Cather (to be published on November 14), 7:00 p.m. CT • Virtual ticketed event at the National Willa Cather Center, Red Cloud, NE
  • Dec 12 — Reading Willa Cather: A Sesquicentennial Celebration, 7:00 p.m. • This evening of brief selections from Cather's fiction and letters will bring to life her uniquely American prose. With readings by actors Linda Bisesti and Matthew Reidy • Boston Athenaeum, 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston, MA
Past Events