Notes on Quotes
  • About

Why I'm Creating Notes on Quotes

Hey, I’m Stephen Harrison. I’m a writer with work published in Slate, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other publications. You can read up on me here.

Now let’s talk Quotes. I’ve been thinking for a long time about how often people post quotations on social media, and how that sometimes leaves me curious and dissatisfied. Because even if the quote is inspirational, I’m left wondering: Why is this quote meaningful to that person? What’s the story?

I started Notes on Quotes to test a simple premise: What would happen if I asked guests to share a quote that’s meaningful to them and then we had an in-depth conversation about it. Each interview starts with “So what quote are we chatting about today?”

My guests for the series come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds: writers, dancers, CEOs, circus performers…. Basically, I’m selecting people that I find interesting and that I’m super curious about what quote they would choose. (That’s a rule: The guest must pick the quote!)

I share the conversations with you in the form of podcast episodes and written articles. The podcast is available on Apple, Google, and other platforms. The print articles are available on this site or on Medium.

I started interviewing people about their chosen quotes in Fall 2019. I’m on-track to have interviewed more than 100 fascinating people by mid-2020.

Why did I start this project? I’ve been feeling especially drawn to quotes in recent years—maybe you have, too. My intuition is that a lot of us are craving more earnest conversations and perhaps also a certain respect for language itself.

Throughout the year, I'll update this page with lessons I’ve learned from this project. Until then, you can follow me on Twitter, check out Notes on Quotes on Instagram and Medium, or sign-up to contact me via email.