Follow Here To Purchase Seven At The Sevens: A Collection of Seven-Word Stories, Memoirs and Poems

Authors: WritersAnonymous TM

Editor: Grant Trenton Gardner

Illustrators: Darren Buchanan and Kathleen Whipple

ISBN: 978-0-615-69271-1

In literature, less seems to be more. There’s a move away from the lengthy. From the classical epic to the novel. Then, the novella came on the scene. Short stories eventually became all the rage. Now, in our times, it’s “flash fiction.”

A cynic might equate quantity with quality. But bigger is, ahem, not always better.

Seven at the Sevens is Exhibit A. This wonderful collection speaks volumes, in brief. Imagine – no re-imagine – the possibilities of concision. Each work is a mere seven words. That includes poems, stories, and even memoirs. How much can one say so briefly? You’d be surprised how evocative brevity is. Here’s a sampling from the compressed anthology:

Inspiration struck, ran and left me broken.”

I live my life via subway tunnels.”

Being different is meaningless unless it’s authentic.”

Run away every day, but leave notes.”

Some of the entries tend toward philosophy:

Searching for the meaning; it’s nowhere found”

I swear I’ll seize the day soon.”

Injustices are wrong even behind closed doors.”

Other entries simply delight, puzzle, or amuse:

Can you have too many houseplants, really?”

What I want for Christmas is un-wrap-able.”

Haven’t got what it takes. Don’t care.”

The book emerged from a literary gathering. Dubbed “Writers Anonymous,” the group meets weekly. Seven at the Sevens is their debut. But it’s not just entries by unknowns. There are some old hands as well. Joyce, Hemingway, Plath, and Kerouac also contribute. As do Frost, Ginsberg, Dickinson, and Whitman. The range of thought is truly impressive. Included is a history of short fiction. An “Introduction” addresses how writers’ groups developed. Biographies of the pseudonymous are teasingly appended. The whole book is refreshing and unorthodox.

Seven words at a clip is challenging. Most writers require much more breathing room. But this collection is actually quite inspiring. So much so, you should be warned. You’ll want to try this experiment yourself. (I myself fell victim to the spell. Every sentence in this review: seven words.)

Follow Here To Purchase Seven At The Sevens: A Collection of Seven-Word Stories, Memoirs and Poems