Rubbish story

Friend of 66000 Andy Hayes brings news of an exhibition that creates literature from discarded notes.

I have a strange habit. For the past few years, I’ve collected handwritten notes that have been abandoned on London’s streets. These scraps of paper come in all shapes and sizes; from dockets and Post-its to excuse notes and doodles (once, I even stumbled across the spooky, scrawled outline of a hand).

Last year, I got in touch with twenty-six writers from the writers’ collective 26, and asked each of them to write a story inspired by one of my scraps. We called these stories Throwaway Lines. You can find them here.

The results were thought provoking, moving and funny. Sex and death were popular subjects, chocolate too. It was great creating an online storybook from rubbish. And a new form of writing was born – ‘litterature’; a term coined by one of our editors, the author Elise Valmorbida. As an example, here’s the story Elise wrote.

You have an oversized package

It won’t fit through your letterbox ribs
Shall we try again another day?
Or can we leave it outside here:
Like a bare bird perching
Like a wet red pudding
Like a soft cloth clock
On the harsh mat
Where strangers tread
And free fliers fall
Until it stills
And shrinks—
A regular sized package at last—

Now we’re going all three-dimensional. Fifteen designers have been brought in to create frames for the scraps that inspired the stories. They’re a talented bunch. Some are independent, others showcase their talents at top London agencies, from The Partners, SomeOne and Magpie, to Smith & Milton, The Allotment and Alphabetical.

You can find the exhibition at the Free Word Centre, in London’s Farringdon, from October 29th until 26th November 2012. It’s open from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday. You don’t need to be a member to get in and it’s absolutely free.


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