The Six-Word Memoir Blog

Mile-High Memoirs, or, “What Happened to that Nice Catholic?”

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

By Rachel

Well, my first trip to Denver was a rollicking success, even if all I saw was two bookstores and a bar. What more could I ask for, really? Especially when each was packed with good-natured people primed for story-sharing.

The Tattered Cover is one of those classic independent bookstores full of staff picks and inside jokes and slightly crooked shelves nailed up as needed. I’m told the two locations I visited were fashioned from an old warehouse and a defunct theater. The crowd where we spoke was a nice mix of contributors, friends of friends, and strangers who’d heard us on the radio. The Q&A was especially lively, with debates arising over the future of publishing, print on demand, democratization of media, and the role of images in the short, short form.

Contributors Shanna Katz, Julian Rubinstein, Maggie McClure, and Anne Hamilton shared their stories with the crowd, and then the “slam” commenced. We’re getting increasingly serious about our “no spectators” rule, but I still bring lollipops just in case. We got to hear from a couple on date night, a contributor’s parents, and woman whose story of interfaith love was so good she spontaneously felt moved to tell it from the front of the room. Here’s a messy little video we shot of her story.

Afterwards, we celebrated at The White Owl, a fantastic new bar where they’ve been writing memoirs for months. We shared cupcakes, drank flaming liqueurs, and traded six-word secrets on neon index cards. I’d be sorry we had to leave, if it weren’t for the fact we’d managed to arrive on the coldest day Denver had seen in a year.

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