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WordStage

It’s WORDSTAGE, celebrating the fascinating world of storytelling featuring the very best storytellers, ballad singers and spoken word artist.

Latest Episodes
  • Jess is a South Carolina homegrown spoken word and visual artist. She builds dreams out of words, rhythm, and recycled and re-purposed materials. Jess’s mother conjured up this haunted story to keep her children safe for a nearby lake, “Some say, if you see a crooked tree like that there’s a witch buried underneath. You have to be careful going close to those trees, especially in the afternoon, after school.”
  • Larry combined a successful 30-year career in sales, sales training, and public speaking with teaching spiritual classes and acting as a Minister for Emissary Ministry. Recently Larry has performed at Tellabration, The Tarheel Teller’s Festival, Roadhouse Inn, and The Old North State Storytelling Festival and placed first at the Mad Robot Storytelling Slam
  • Kyra Freeman writes poems, tells stories, and dances in the kitchen in Morganton, North Carolina. A former school librarian turned massage therapist, she was raised in Vermont not too far from the Appalachians. She lives with her family and infamous pets and goes outside as much as possible. She is a member of the Asheville Storytelling Circle and the N.C. Storytelling Guild. A collection of her poetry and photographs entitled: Second Life: Poems of Re-emerging will be released by Redhawk Publications in the summer of 2021.
  • Donna Washington is an internationally known master storyteller, artist educator, and published author who has been performing for audiences of all ages for over thirty-four years. She is renowned for her storytelling for both children & adults from poignant & funny fables about the human condition to racy relationship stories to spine-tingling tales of terror. She has been featured at numerous festivals, schools & libraries theaters, and other venues worldwide including Canada, Peru, Argentina, and Hong Kong. During the pandemic, she has presented over two hundred shows & workshops virtually online.
  • Elena Diana Miller, folk musician, historian, and storyteller performs throughout the region at concert halls, festivals, libraries, and schools, Elena was recently inducted into the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Traditional Artist Directory in 2020 for her contributions to perpetuating folk traditions. She won the Southeast National Park Service Interpreter’s Performance Award twice and the National Award for ‘Best Interpretive Arts Program’ in the United States National Park Service for the encouragement of folk traditions and dynamic performances.
  • A native of West Virginia, Donna Marie Todd trained in classical vocal performance at the renowned Peabody Conservatory of Music with Metropolitan opera soprano Marilyn Cotlow and now writes and performs a unique combination of original story woven with artful song. She is a TEDx speaker, recording artist, singer, writer, teaching artist, and retreat leader. She is a multi-faceted artist who delivers perfectly crafted performances that combine her talents as a speaker, writer, storyteller, and singer. The combination of storytelling and singing has earned her the description of “The Singer of Stories.”
  • Derrick Phillips is a folksinger, songwriter, storyteller, and multi-instrumentalist from Easley, SC. He has been written up as "One of the upcountry's most dynamic folksingers". Perhaps this narrative poem should be an anthem for all street buskers. “We could use a few more like Vagabond Jack”.
  • "Russian Jews Move to Appalachia and the American South" is a story about a family’s struggles and triumphs in immigrating to America. Chuck has appeared in numerous shows throughout the Asheville area and Jonesborough TN, telling personal stories filled with angst, drama, and a healthy dose of humor. He teaches classes on creating and telling personal stories at an Asheville area learning-in-retirement center, OLLI UNC Asheville.
  • Ray escaped the urban slums of Richmond, VA by joining the United States Army at the age of 17. As an infantryman and paratrooper, he served around the world and was awarded The Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman’s Badge, among many other decorations for his service. After 20 years, he retired and went back to school, earning his BS in Liberal Arts, MA in Public History, and EdS/EdD in Education Leadership, researching the relationship between parental behavior and African American academic success for his dissertation. During his time as an adjunct professor at Appalachian State University, his most popular courses were “The Souls of Black Folks: An Examination of African American Social Culture” and “Storytelling: Life in the Narrative,” which explored historic and contemporary uses of storytelling and oral history in America.
  • This story, “Now Entering Alaska Time” is an excerpt from Waldman's recently released book, Now Entering Alaska Time. "He brings his instruments, a few fellow musicians, and his poems about surviving a plane crash (locals once called him"a walking dead man"), watching grizzlies feed in a garbage dump, and other adventures in the forty-ninth state."-The New Yorker