Notes from a Public Typewriter

When Michael Gustafson and his wife, Hilary, opened a bookstore, they put out a typewriter for anyone to use. They had no idea what to expect. Would people ask metaphysical questions? Write mean things? Pour their souls onto the page? Yes, no, and did they ever. Every day, people of all ages sit down at the public typewriter. Children perch atop grandparents’ knees, both sets of hands hovering above the metal keys: I LOVE YOU. Others walk in alone on Friday nights and confess their hopes: I will find someone someday. And some leave funny asides for the next person who sits down: I dislike people, misanthropes, irony, and ellipses ... and lists too.  In a new book, NOTES FROM A PUBLIC TYPEWRITER, Michael and acclaimed graphic designer Oliver Uberti have combined these anonymous messages with essays and photos to create an ode to the community and the written word that will surprise, delight, and inspire. Join Michael and Oliver as they celebrate analog technology, reveal their creative process, and share a selection of sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking notes—including those typed on the typewriters here at the Ford Dearborn Campus.


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