Conversations With Storytellers

Conversations with storytellers. Wisdom, folk and fairy tales from our elders. A meeting with professional storytellers.

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What is "Conversations with Storytellers"?

After we lost a number of storytellers who practiced professionally the art of traditional storytelling.... traditional storytelling is the telling of folk and fairy tales, myths and legends, and it's not all kid's stuff, that's for sure... I knew not only had metaphorical libraries burned down, but these people whose lives impacted so many were not really known about. What drew to storytelling in the first place? Why do they tell tradition tales? What is important about those tales? So, I set about finding the elders (and a few young people who are really switched on) in our community to interview them. Each story is different. Some people share culture or history of the places they grew up, or the hardships they endured. Some people go deep in the how and why. Have a listen. You might gain something from these conversations!

Some of these recordings were done in-person, others are over the phone or internet.

Episodes

3 days ago

Antonio Rocha has created a masterful piece of storytelling about a slave ship called Malaga. There is a connection between the ship and Antonio and this plays into his telling. I cannot wait to share this conversation with you.
Antonio began life as a mime, then became a storyteller. In 2020 he discovered a story about a slave ship which was built in Maine, where he now lives, and operated between the States and Brazil, where he grew up. His heritage is part African. This episode is about his research and the story and what it meant to him to be able to tell this story.

Fran Stallings

Friday May 19, 2023

Friday May 19, 2023


I have been seeing and bumping into Fran Stallings for a long while and have had one or two conversations with her and we have talked about doing this for a long time. On this episode, unfortunately there is a popping sound from, I think, Fran's microphone. It came over on the recording and I couldn’t always get rid of it. Apologies for staticky tech! Also, we talked about suffragettes and I mis-spoke causing Fran to misspeak. I mis-pronounced Emily, or Emmeline Pankhurst’s name, it is not Parkhurst! Emily Pankhurst never met Susan B Anthony, the former coming to the United States a few years after Susan B Anthony’s death.
Fran Stallings started as a biologist hoping to dance. She is a well respected storyteller and tells stories she heard and collected in Japan from Hiroko Fujita, other folk tales, stories to help save the environment, and the occasional personal story. Fran started telling stories as a teacher, then to her kids, and earned money as a professional towards the beginning of the renaissance in the early 1980’s. She's still at it. She is a wonderfully warm person and great teller of traditional tales. Here, she shares her journey and connection to Japanese stories and Hiroko Fujita, and her environmental work. Fran shares her work process and why folk and fairy tales are important to her.
I hope you enjoy this conversation with Fran Stallings.

Joseph Bruchac

Friday Dec 23, 2022

Friday Dec 23, 2022

Joseph Bruchac is one of the preeminent Native storytellers in the USA. He is part Slovak and part Abenaki. He is a keeper of Native traditional tales, marched with Martin Luther King Jr., told poetry with Robert Bly and is one of my favourite storytellers and writers. Did you know he drove (and maybe still drives) a Harley, and taught in Ghana? Now you do! Find out other fascinating things about Joseph in this wonderful interview. Not to be missed!

Regi Carpenter

Friday Sep 02, 2022

Friday Sep 02, 2022

Raised in Clayton, New York, Regi Carpenter came from the school of scrappy, studied music, but became a storyteller! Although steeped in folk and fairy tales, myths and legends, she also tells deep personal narrative. Digging deep in the well of truth she brings her love of language to all the tales she tells, and shares with us her two very different processes on learning stories, whether it’s a folk tale, or personal story. Regi also shares a folk tale.
I hope you enjoy this episode.
Regi’s website: https://regicarpenter.com/

Doug Elliot

Friday Aug 05, 2022

Friday Aug 05, 2022

I had been hearing about Doug for a while, and then heard his harmonica at a festival, then briefly met with him at said festival. I bought one of his CDs and loved what he did, and decided we should hear his voice here! Doug is a humble man with a deep knowledge of the woods, marshes, swamps, rainforests and a deep desire to show the human connection with the world about us through storytelling. There’s a fair bit about vultures, or peace eagles, and I get to show off how ignorant I am about nature!
One of Doug's motos: "Life is like playing a harmonica - you find a good note and wail on it!"
Doug's website: https://dougelliott.com/
Doug's books and CDs: https://dougelliott.com/shop/

Michael D McCarty

Friday Jun 03, 2022

Friday Jun 03, 2022


I first heard Michael D McCarty, laugh. It was in a far off room so I followed the sound and listened to him impart joy and happiness upon all around him. There was, and is, some sort of magical aura he gives off, and it is quite wonderful.
Originally from Chicago, and now of Los Angeles, Michael first wanted to be a physicist, or an astronaut, and became a Black Panther, an acupuncturist, and storyteller. There are very few people even remotely like Michael, and we only touched on a small part of what he’s done.
We talked comics, reading, giving away books, gangs, racism, and how importnat mothers are, and could have talked about a lot of other things too.
 
Michael's website is: http://havemouthwillrunit.com/

Eldrena Douma - part 2

Saturday May 07, 2022

Saturday May 07, 2022


Eldrena Douma (pronounced Dow-MAH) is of the Tewa, Hopi and Laguna people of the South West. This, part two of another two part interview, covers Why Native American stories should not be told by those not within their community. Over the course of the two episodes we talk about story and what story means to the Pueblo people.
Eldrena also talks about her (great?) grandmother who pretty much saved the art of Pueblo pottery, and how Eldrena now creates her own animal stories to share her culture and world. There's a lot of history in these conversations.
I hope you enjoy them.
Eldrena's website: https://www.eldrenadouma.com/

EldrenaDouma - part 1

Friday May 06, 2022

Friday May 06, 2022


Eldrena Douma (pronounced Dow-MAH) is of the Tewa, Hopi and Laguna people of the South West. This, part one of another two part interview, covers a lot of history of Eldrena's upbringing, and growing up between Winslow and First Mesa. Over the course of the two episodes we talk about story and what story means to the Pueblo people and why some First Americans do not like their stories told outside of their people and community.
Eldrena also talks about her (great?) grandmother who pretty much saved the art of Pueblo pottery, and how Eldrena now creates her own animal stories to share her culture and world. There's a lot of history in these conversations.
I hope you enjoy them.
Eldrena's website: https://www.eldrenadouma.com/

Joel ben Izzy - part 2

Friday Apr 22, 2022

Friday Apr 22, 2022

This is part two of the Conversation with Joel ben Izzy. If you haven’t listened to part one, please do so, as you won’t know what’s going on. The last episode ended on a cliff hanger! Joel hales from the West Coast, living in California. He’s been telling stories for a long time. Then he lost his his voice with thyroid cancer. This is part one of his journey, process and love of tales.
Filled with stories, compassion and a lot of joking around, this episode also includes a dating tip for LA!
Joel’s website: https://www.storypage.com/

Joel ben Izzy - part 1

Thursday Mar 31, 2022

Thursday Mar 31, 2022

Joel ben Izzy is a storyteller from California and has been telling stories for a long time. Then he lost his his voice with thyroid cancer. This is part one of a long conversation of his journey, process and love of tales.
Filled with stories, compassion and a lot of joking around, this is part one of two episodes with Joel.
Joel’s website: https://www.storypage.com/

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