Six word memoirs shares everyone?s story

By By Sarah Custen, Red Pulse Contributor

By Sarah Custen, Red Pulse Contributor

In November 2006, SMITH Magazine8212;an online magazine with the tagline “Everyone has a story”8212;began an ongoing collection of six-word memoirs. People from across the globe send in their condensed life stories, and the results range from a modern sort of haiku, to funny little quips, to miniature philosophies. The Web site,, has up-to-date examples, but there’s also a book with nearly a thousand of SMITH’s favorites: Not Quite What I Was Planning (Harper Perennial, 2008).

Some of the names you may recognize, like author Joyce Carol Oates, who says “Revenge is living well, without you.” Stephen Colbert offers “Well, I thought it was funny” and Ben Kweller explains “Dropped out, got out, lucked out.” But some of the best are from less-familiar personalities, such as this one from Lionel Shriver, “I am trying, in every regard.”

The Salt Lake City Public Library is currently collecting six-word memoirs from Salt Lake Library patrons. The library will select favorites and then display them on Level 4 in November.

My six-word suggestion? “Why not give it a go?” And here are six favorites from the book to get you started:

“Followed white rabbit. Became black sheep.” &-Gabrielle Maconi
“Lived in moment until moment sucked.” &-Janine Goss
“My life’s a bunch of almosts.” &-Shari Bonnin
“It’s pretty high. You go first.” &-Alan Eagle
“Maybe you had to be there.” &-Roy Blount Jr.

Send submissions to:

The City Library &- Level 4
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City UT 84111
[email protected]