Classroom of the Month: John Ferry’s “Image and Form” class at Kansas City Art Institute
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"Mexican and Jewish: I love carnitas." (A Litquake Report)

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“Remember to masturbate before meeting ex.”
“The psychic said I’d be richer.”
“Mexican and Jewish: I love carnitas.”

These were the sweet six-word sounds from the crowd of more than 100 people who crammed into Clarion Alley in San Francisco for SMITH Magazine’s six-word memoir slam during the world-famous Litcrawl earlier this month. We even had our first “duet” six-word memoir from a couple who told the story of how they decided to come out on that very evening and join us in the alley:
She: “You’re no fun.” He: “Yes I am.” And that’s six.

Pictured above: Second from the left (sitting) is Charles “On the playground, alone. 1970, today” Warren and Daniel Handler, whose love and heartbreak memoirs you’ll see below. Behind him (standing) is my sister Susie “Ran east, ran west, ran late” Smith, and Deb “Don’t marry a lawyer, be one” Schneider.

Among the special guests were Jolene Scarella, a nurse in the East Bay who arrived in scrubs and told a story about how she used the six-word memoir form to break through to a really tough Leukemia patient; writer and artist Lisa Brown, who talked about the bigger meaning behind her six-word memoir and iliustration, “I thought I would be taller” (which is among the 100 new memoirs in the expanded, hardcover, deluxe, “wow, what a great gift, man” six-word memoir book) and her husband, Daniel Handler, who closed the night and brought down the house with 10 six-word memoirs on love and heartbreak. This selection appears in the order in which they occurred in his life.

Our song: Pat Benetar’s “We Belong.”
Her father challenged me to duel.
Met in Israel, split like Palestine.
Summer 1988. Parents still hate me.
What we had in common: dorm.
Taught me to drink Wild Turkey.
Crazy unfaithful liar, now a therapist.
Met on rebound, seventeen years now.

That last six-word memoir, about his wife Lisa Brown, is a love story indeed.

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