The Six-Word Memoir Blog

“Kansas City Yenta changed my life—The Six-Word Memoirists Live, in S.F.

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

By Larry Smith

From six-word prayers to bottle caps, the Six-Word Memoir has taken on many shapes, forms, and unexpected applications. Since we challenged our readers to write the story of their lives in just six words in November, 2006, we’ve received some 300,000+ Six-Word Memoirs by people across the world on SMITH and SMITH Teens. Rachel Fershleiser and I have also led scores of live events: readings in bookstores, six-word slams in bars, workshops in third-grade classrooms and high school assemblies. We’ll even be talking six at the AARP Convention this fall—and why not?

One of our all-time favorite forms of live six-wording takes place a few times a year with our good pals at The Rumpus. On June 14, at an event in San Francisco’s Make-Out Room, Rumpus editor Stephen Elliott promised a psyched, packed house they were about to witness, “an avalanche of memoir the likes of which you’ve never seen before.” The 20+ Six-Word Memoirists in this short video below did not disappoint. Over drinks after the show, memoirist Giovanni Airaghi (”Tasting flavors of things to come.”) said that despite a storied, varied life, this was the first time he had ever appeared on stage. “Reading my six words,” he said, “was a mini-thrill.” Exactly.

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