Telling personal and family stories is fun - and much more. Storytelling connects strangers, strengthens links between generations, and gives children the self-knowledge to carry them through hard times. Knowledge of family history has even been linked to better teen behavior and mental health. In this active and interactive program, storyteller Jo Radner shares foolproof ways to mine memories and interview relatives for meaningful stories. Participants practice finding, developing, and telling their own tales.

 

Storyteller Jo Radner received her PhD from Harvard University. Before returning to her family home in western Maine as a freelance storyteller and oral historian, she spent 31 years as professor at American University in Washington, D.C., teaching literature, folklore, American studies, Celtic studies, and storytelling. She has published books and articles in all those fields, and is now writing a book titled Performing the Paper: Rural Self-Improvement in Northern New England, about a 19th-century village tradition of creating and performing handwritten literary newspapers. She is past president of the American Folklore Society and the National Storytelling Network.