Frank Warren, his chamber of secrets

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Frank Warren, his chamber of secrets

Frank Warren reads secrets

Frank Warren reads secrets

Zaina Salem

Frank Warren reads secrets

Zaina Salem

Zaina Salem

Frank Warren reads secrets

By Sofia Syed and Michelle DeShon

For the past two days, UA students have been writing their secrets on postcards near the Union Market; last night, a man came to campus to read those secrets aloud.

Frank Warren created the largest advertisement-free blog in the world, PostSecret. Warren gave UA students a real-life display of its possibilities on Wednesday, March 18, in the Union Theatre.

PostSecret is an ongoing community mail art project that allows people to anonymously send in secrets. The secrets are shared at postsecret.com, published in various books, or displayed as part of a museum exhibit.

Warren focused his presentation on the history of PostSecret, and shared with others secrets that may have been banned or have touched lives. Near the end of his presentation, he opened up the talk allowing students to share their secrets and have an open discussion.

From Monday, March 16 until Wednesday, March 18, UA students made their own version of PostSecret by setting up a table in the Union. Students were welcomed to anonymously decorate a blank PostSecret postcard with their secret and place it face down in the “Post Secret Mailbox.” Toward the end of the lecture, Warren incorporated those students’ secrets into his presentation.

Warren said he got the idea to start PostSecret because he had a boring job.

“For years I pursued these post card projects after work and on the weekends. PostSecret was one that brought me a lot of meaning and purpose… it felt wonderful that other people appreciated these special secrets as much as I have,” Warren said.

Warren knew his project would work.

“There’s something about secrets that’s universal. The stories that we carry and decide to reveal or conceal make us very human,” Warren said. “What I try to do is create a safe space to tell those deep stories, to tell those hidden secrets they’ve never shared before.”

Warren added a word of advice for aspiring bloggers.

“Blogging is a super-powerful platform. I would say it takes a big commitment to create something meaningful or lasting that people will be aware of to come back to again and again.”

Warren thinks it is important to find a way to give voices to people who have an untold story. Involvement is what gets people most excited.

Warren’s favorite secret, which he credited to his weird sense of humor, is a postcard that came wrapped in Christmas paper. The secret said: “I hope your stupid wrapping paper collection catches on fire and burns down your house.”

Continuing the success of the PostSecret blog, Warren is hoping to have the postcards on exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum. There will also be a PostSecret tour that will highlight the behind-the-scenes processes of select secrets—bringing those secrets to life.

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