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Family Stories with Jo Radner June 5 at 7 p.m.

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Family Stories: How and Why to Remember and Tell Them with Jo Radner. Funded by the NH Humanities.

In this era of multitasking, tweeting, texting, and other “social” media, broadcasting sometimes seems more common than conversation. “We communicate screen to screen more than face to face,” says Radner, “but we hunger for the simple give-and-take of telling and listening to stories.”  Research has shown that storytelling gives much more than pleasure: it connects strangers, strengthens the links between generations, and gives children crucial sense of identity.

Participants in Radner’s workshop will learn foolproof ways to mine their own memories and interview their relatives for engaging stories.  In pairs and small groups they will practice finding, developing, and telling their own tales.  “No one will be on the spot to perform,” says Radner, “but I guarantee that everyone will remember stories they want to share informally.”

Aimed at adults, the workshop will benefit anyone interested in investigating or remembering past events, writing memoirs, researching family history, or simply developing habits of meaningful conversation.  Participants will leave with new ideas, new stories, and a handout of techniques and resources.

Folklorist, storyteller, writer, and oral historian, Jo Radner creates personal tales and stories about the people of northern New England.  In recent years Jo has helped various immigrant, refugee, and community groups collect their stories and fashion them into public presentations.  She offers workshops on interviewing and on creating and performing stories.  Jo is past president of the American Folklore Society and the National Storytelling Network. Retired from a teaching career at American University, she has been studying, teaching, telling, and collecting stories most of her life.

Ann Steuernagel