Common Ground

A book full of true, connected, very short stories collected from friends and strangers in a search for unity in America, Summer 2017.


I believe progress occurs through breaking down isolation and searching for connections between those who seem to have nothing in common.

The Common Ground Book is a collection of true stories that I gathered during the summer of 2017 as I road tripped across America in search of common understanding.

For those who participated, this project was an exercise in empathy and collaboration. 

The process of story gathering looked a bit like facilitating a national game of written telephone. I carried short stories handwritten on index cards from place to place as I drove around the country. I approached strangers and asked friends and family to... 

  • read stories from the place I just came from,

  • find one they related to,

  • and use a phrase or sentence from that story as part of their own

The finished book presents what 146 people (mostly strangers to each other) across 32 states found in common and how they each gave part of themselves in response to what they received from another.

While this book is far from a solution to our countries divisions, this collection of connected stories aims to be one more positive creative project about our capacity for common understanding. 

May we never tire of getting to know each other.

Love and Gratitude,

Hannah

Endless gratitude to Brooke Stoker, my creative collaborator, travel partner, and digital/physical friend, without whom this project would not exist at all and to Danielle Doell, the perfect puzzle piece to our travel trio. 

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