In which we visit a storytelling festival in a garden

If you didn't know better, 

Norm Brecke tells a story to a crowd under the trees

you'd think that it was an old-fashioned Baptist tent revival meeting.

There was plenty of talk about devilment

Debra Harris-Branham 

and scary stuff like that.

There was also talk of heaven

Alton Chung

and redemption. 
Joe Hayes

It wasn't an old-fashioned Baptist tent revival meeting.  The message that passed around the folks in the garden:  Find a story, tell it, make it your own, share with other people.

Some stories were very serious and important.


other stories were silly and funny.

Whitman Story Sampler

Some stories made us laugh out loud...and think.  
Donald Davis

Led by the stories, we sang together.

We danced together.

We played together.

And we listened.

We came together because Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald invited us.  She was my first storytelling teacher...and one of my favorite people in the world.  

Me and MRM

It takes a lot of work to create a storytelling festival.  

Will takes instructions
She called on all the folks she knew who can't say "no" to a request like that. And we all showed up.

Twenty years ago, some fine people started creating a garden that is exactly perfect for storytelling.  It takes a long time to build a garden, when you start with a dumping ground.  

Diane and Monte Powell

A good garden, like a good story, is worth the time you need to create it. 

Now, the garden is beautiful.  Now, the stories have a place to be told!  Even the gardener came out of the flowers sometimes, lured by the stories.

The gardener in the red shirt couldn't stay away from the stories!

In-between the stories, we wandered through the green

 and enjoyed 

the beautiful


Stories.  Storytellers.  More stories.

And a beautiful garden.

 It's good.

We recorded some of the stage sessions of the PowellsWood Storytelling Festival, and will be broadcasting them on KSER radio over the coming months.  The show airs live every Sunday morning from 9-11 (Pacific Time), and streams on the station website.  To listen to our program archive, visit and find the archive for Global Griot.  

We welcome listeners from all over the world.


  1. What a lovely, lovely post. Thank you for telling it. :0)

  2. Please note that I am extremely, extremely jealous, and that the second my kids are old enough to sit still for things like this, I fully intend on joining you.


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