Monday, April 12, 2010

Story Slam in Boston

SLAM OF ALL SLAMMERS! THE BIG MOUTH OFF is the final contest in Boston’s first story slam season, produced by massmouth and will be held. 6PM on APRIL 20th 2010 at in the Boston Public Library’s Rabb Auditorium, Copley Square, Boston MA. massmouth has hosted an exciting series of story slams.
Come hear the winners of the monthly slams plus one People’s Choice entrant compete for the grand prize – a week at a medieval Tuscan townhouse. There are more prizes for the winners chosen by the distinguished judges; including Jay O’Callahan (master storyteller), Charlie Pierce ( Boston Globe, panelist on npr's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" npr) Brian O’Donovan ( host of a Celtic Sojourn- wgbh-fm), Josna Rege ( English professor, blogging at Tell Me Another ) and Jay Allison ("Independent journalist and producer for radio, including NPR's This I Believe") In between sets of judged stories, the audience and People’s Choice entrants will participate in a mini-slam of stories on the theme - “ the first time”.

If this does not sound fun to you, please let me know what does!!!!

For more information, and to check out some AMAZING on-line videos of storytellers, plesae go to the MassMouth website:


Friday, April 09, 2010

Stories from far away

There is a ‘small town’ in the Upper Valley called White River Junction and in White River Junction, Vermont is a store called Revolution. If anyone says that there is nothing to do in the Upper Valley I say, “Oh yes there is, there is plenty to do around here, you have to know where to look – start in WRJ at Revolution.”

Kim Souza, founder and the co-owner of Revolution along with some other like minded people in Rio Blanco, as it is sometimes called, have turned what was becoming a run down town into a thriving community of arts and funky places to visit. Museum, antique stores, yoga, artist, and dance studios, a cable tv station, great places to eat amongst so much more can all be found in White River Junction. Last night (8th April, 2010) Kim hosted in her clothing store, the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars a band made up of people who really know and understand suffering, healing and sometimes forgiveness.

The evening began at around 7pm with a short viewing of part of the documentary by Zack Niles of the story of the All-Stars – their journey of losing their homes, and family members in a bloody revolution to freedom with music. After the 20 minutes showing the All-Stars played a great set until late into the evening. To see such devastation to a place such as Sierra Leone, to see the destruction to the land, buildings, but more importantly the people and then hear the music the survivors make is inspiring. We were told that the band we saw only represents a small part of the All-Stars, that the whole would populate a city! Some have lost their limbs, seen their family beaten to death or shot. The people that make up the band now play music to heal, transport people who have suffered like them. Their story is amazing, heroic (although I doubt they would call themselves that) and inspirational. As is their music, which I listen to with up lifted heart as I type.