Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure


Product Details

$15.99  $14.87
Harper Perennial
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.1 X 0.7 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Larry Smith lives with his wife Ann in Huron, Ohio where he is professor emeritus of English and humanities from Firelands College of Bowling Green State University. He has studied at the Thoreau Institute and has written on the life and writings of Henry David Thoreau. He is the author of eight books of poetry, five books of fiction, and literary biographies of writers Kenneth Patchen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Smith is also writer-producer of two video programs on poets James Wright and Kenneth Patchen done with filmmaker Tom Koba.

His own memoirs have appeared in Milldust and Roses (2005) and The Thick of Thin: Memoirs of a Working-Class Writer (2017). He and Mei Hui Huang are co-translators of Chinese Zen Poems: What Hold Has This Mountain? and The Kanshi Poems Taigu Ryokan (both from Bottom Dog Press). In 1999 he received the Ohioana Poetry Award for his contributions to poetry in Ohio. Smith is the director of Bottom Dog Press, an independent Ohio literary publisher for over 30 years.

Rachel Fershleiser is SMITH's memoir editor and has written for the Village Voice, the New York Press, Print, and the National Post. Rachel lives in New York City.


"You could spend a lifetime brainstorming."--The New Yorker
"Six-word review: Buy it, keep it in bathroom."--Philadelphia Magazine
"A fabulously appealing exercise both for writers and for readers."--Daily Telegraph (London)
"Perfect for the American attention span...Will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists."--Vanity Fair
"Smith seems to have struck a chord in the current zeitgeist, unleashing a torrent of self-expression not unlike the one launched by Frank Warren when he began inviting people to write their secrets on the back of postcards."--Toronto Star
"Compulsive insightful as any 300+ page biography."--Publishers Weekly
"A perfect distraction and inspiration, and a collection that begs to be shared."--Denver Post
"The pithiest of life stories."--O magazine
"In six words: Gimmicks should always be this fun."
"These tiny windows into people's lives are at once addictive and illuminating, challenging and accessible."--Blackbook
"The brilliance is in the brevity."--New York Post
"Irresistibly clever."--Chicago Tribune