Weaving From the Fringes
Storytelling Series 2021 Storytellers:
Lorna MacDonald Czarnota is an award-winning storyteller and author, delighting audiences in schools, libraries, festivals and conferences throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and India with traditional and original stories since 1985. Lorna has several published books including Legends, Lore, and Secrets of Western New York, Wicked Niagara, and Native American and Pioneer Sites of Upstate New York. Also among her historical works are a YA novel Breadline Blue and several in-personae historical presentations—Dust Bowl, Medieval, Silk Road, Colonial, and Civil War.
She is a long time member of Spin-a-Storytellers and the National Storytelling Network which recognized Lorna with the Oracle Award for excellence in service and leadership. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Erie County voted Lorna one of six “Women Who Move the City” in 2017 for her work with at-risk youth.
Coral Conant Gilles weaves stories in the ancient tradition of oral storytelling. Deepen your relationship with people and the Earth through folklore, original tales, and personal stories. Coral's stories evoke curiosity, create connection, build empathy, and inspire exploration.
Grew up on the North Side of Chicago with a professional tap dancer for a father and a math teacher for a mother, which may explain his wild mood swings. In 1971 Howard left the Midwest to find fame and fortune as a corporate attorney in New York City; happily, he found neither. 20 years and one child later, Howard moved to staunchly Republican Stillwater, MN. Although he makes his living as a headhunter for attorneys, Howard’s unique blend of performance art and personal narrative storytelling has made him a fixture in the global (thank you Zoom) performance world. Before the pandemic Howard could be found most weekend mornings at the Daily Grind Coffee Shop where he offered his opinions on everything while doing New York Times crossword puzzles with his posse of aging white men. Now he talks politics with himself and anyone else in earshot. Contact Howard at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Matson is a spinner of tales, weaving magic into her renditions of traditional tales and real life narratives for children, teens, and adults. Elizabeth incorporates creative drama, yoga, and her love of language into her performances and workshops. Elizabeth learned storytelling at her mother's knees and passes on the art as coach to a teen storytelling troupe. She believes deep in her bones that stories are the threads that give our lives meaning.
For more than forty years Kevin McMullin forged a successful career involving various combinations of music and storytelling. A series of derailing events –including a brain tumor and the caretaking of his dying father – left him looking at life from a new and still changing perspective. He has created a body of written and performance material reflecting those changes. The resulting book and stage show share the title Into the Black Sea: Stories of Darkness and Light.
Michael Williams left his hometown of Hamilton, Canada as a teenager to work underground in the mines of Northern Ontario. It was there that an old-timer urged him to return to the surface and pursue his dream of becoming a writer of stories. That turned out to be a long, circuitous journey across North America, Europe, and through a variety of occupations before getting married and starting a family.
In the late 80s, Michael moved his family to Scotland where he studied for a Ph.D. in English Literature. A teaching career followed and it was during this period that he discovered the art of oral storytelling. In 2005, Michael left full-time teaching to become a therapeutic storyteller, supporting the health and wellbeing of young people and adults as well as corporate and community organizations. In 2017, Michael returned to Canada where he continues to serve his passion for storytelling. He is currently writing short stories and working on a memoir.
Please join us!
Professor Vinita Dhondiyal Bhatnagar is a professor of English who has only very recently taken to storytelling. She tells stories as embodied characters (Minerva McGonagall, Charmaine and the Begum of Bhopal are just some of the characters that she has told stories of and as.). She is the author of books and monographs and is academically interested in storytelling as theory and practice.
Laura is a contemporary Renaissance woman living and working on her family’s century-old homestead farm outside Hayward, WI. From fiber arts to creative writing, music to storytelling, she never tires of the magic of transforming idea into form and overlapping narrative and visual. Laura’s spirit is called by medieval and ancient stories and experiences, weaving their understanding and teachings into the current existential experience. Completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in 2011, Laura continues her lifelong passion for learning and creativity with performances and teaching in a plethora of mediums.
Dr Juliet Bruce is a writer and healing story practitioner in New York City. Since 1994, working within the frameworks of the ancient myth and improvisational writing, she has helped hundreds of contemporary individuals, families, and communities find their inspired way out of loss and conflict to a happier, more purposeful lives. More here
Tracy is a Wisconsin native who has roamed and roved far and wide and now resides here, once again in the land of red granite, dark wild woods and clear lakes. She stepped onto the path of storyteller 25 years under an Oregon hazelnut tree and has never looked back. Deep listening, wild imagining and getting out of the way for the story to tell itself are the tools of her trade.
Storytelling & stories are set deep in our human bones. More than ever we need people mythically awake. We need to listen deeper, to imagine well beyond the coding of colonization and we need to find our way back to awe!
Su Ciampa has been telling stories on stage with emotional high stakes and low brow humor since 2017. Based in the Adirondack region of New York, she has told at Northeast Public Radio's Howl Story Slam, Dare to Be Human at Schenectady's MopCo Improv Theatre, the Front Parlor series in Troy, NY and Q.E.D. in Astoria, Queens. Su can often be heard at the Storytelling Open Mic at Caffe Lena, the iconic folk music venue in Saratoga Springs, NY. Su is currently working on a long-form storytelling show about her dogs rolling in human shit in Tompkins Square Park, her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease and other tragicomedies.
”Nootauau Kaukontuoh, “she hears the crow”, is a woman of the Eastern Woodlands. She lives her life in the tradition of the Nanhigganêuck, the people known today as the Narragansett. She is a Educator, Writer, and Storyteller of Longhouse Tales, told in many different ways including Native Sign Language, call and response as well as other traditional styles. She has twice been awarded publishing contracts for her book of poetry and is currently completing a Native children's novel. She brings to life the oral tradition at schools, community centers, Indigenous gatherings, libraries, and wherever the stories lead her.”