Six words can say so much

Can your life be summed up in six words? Emily Lloyd hopes every resident of Minneapolis gives it a try.

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Emily Lloyd, left, of the Eden Prairie Hennepin County Library

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

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Can your life be summed up in six words? Emily Lloyd hopes every resident of Minneapolis gives it a try.

Lloyd, a librarian who works at the Eden Prairie library, has given the minimal memoir idea a geographic center at 6wordsmpls.com, a website she started for Minneapolitans to express themselves, briefly.

"All my life I've held on." "Being me part-time doesn't work." "Go be illuminated by a streetlight." These are a few of the more than 550 contributions she's collected so far.

She doesn't want the project to end until it includes "at least 1,000 memoirs, preferably five times that," she said. Several schools have made it a part of class assignments, and she's working with a senior center as well. Anyone can contribute to a display at Midtown Global Market that will be up through the holidays, and the bathrooms of bars and coffee shops including Anodyne, Blue Moon Cafe and the 331 Club have posters to write on for those hit with sudden inspiration.

Lloyd, 37, started the project after noticing that a smaller-scale version she tried at the Eden Prairie Library last spring had so much more impact when the sense of place was provided.

"Watching how people reacted increased my compassion for them, and made me want to do something larger," she said. "I moved to Minneapolis five years ago, and every week I find something new to love about the city."

Lloyd's favorite submissions include the first one she ever received from a teen, "Murals hip-hop uppercut boxing coffee shop," "Dusty roads, low salaries, wonderful people" and on a more serious note, an anonymous "Depressed foreclosed soon to be evicted."

The hard part of the project, she said, is "knowing that people are just sending their words out into this void and there's no way to reach them. Some of these people I'd really like to talk to."

Her own six-word memoir? "I'd usually rather read about it."

Read them all at: www.startribune.com/a884

Kristin Tillotson • 612-673-7046

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