I fell in love with the concept of the six-word memoir when I discovered Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. Dr. Alice Oleson consented to facilitate a writing workshop as part of our Adult Summer Reading program. Oleson is a cultural anthropologist, poet, and Sociology Department Head, University of Dubuque.
As part of her work as a cultural anthropologist, Alice Oleson has collected life histories in the Micronesian Pacific as well as in Dubuque, Iowa. In any kind of life history project, participants consciously or unconsciously choose to communicate a few key stories from their lives that are somehow representative of the whole. On June 30, Oleson will use her experiences as an anthropological interviewer and a poet to help guide participants through a workshop on the six-word memoir—a writing phenomenon that was sparked by Smith Magazine in 2006. The six-word memoir project asks writers to crystallize their lived experience into a mere six words that capture a life’s defining events, mood, outlook, and wisdom, among other things—and then to artfully communicate these things to a reader with a six-word palate.
I’m anxious to hear her six-word memoir. I’m also anxious to hear yours. Please come join us at 6:30 p.m. in the newly renovated (and air conditioned) 3rd floor auditorium.
~ Betty, Adult Services