Bringing the Text to Life

Skin Deep Ephesians 3:1-12

Skin Deep

Shelley Jackson needed more than 2,000 volunteers to publish her short story. It was truly an incarnational event.

Shelley Jackson is publishing a short story, but you won’t be able to read it in a book or a magazine. Instead, you’ll have to look at the bodies of random people around the world, because Jackson’s story is written solely on human skin.

No joke.

Appropriately entitled “Skin,” the 2,095-word piece of fiction is the basis of a very unusual project. More than 2,000 volunteers are getting one word from the story tattooed on their bodies. Each person bears one word only, and the full story will be distributed only to participants.

Rob Poulos, for example, carries the single lowercase word “back” on his left wrist. He heard about the project from his literature professor, who also decided to participate and received the word “pen,” followed by a question mark.

Shelley Jackson calls her story a “mortal work of art,” and she says it will connect each participant to 2,094 other people. Jackson was the first person to get...

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