Tales of Wildness, Waiting and Wonder
What tales might we hear involving the mysteries just beyond …….?
Join us for our January online concert, combining storytelling, poetry, folklore and creative conversations
Featuring Kuli Kohli – Wolverhampton’s Poet Laureate, Dr Gcina Mhlophe, a collaboration between Nana Tomova and Rosie Corner and, of course, presented by Amy Douglas with folklore from Cath’s Cupboard of Customs.
Dr Gcina Mhlophe
Dr Gcina Mhlophe is an author storyteller and founding director of Gcinamasiko Arts & Heritage Trust. Her works have been translated into many languages, including all official South African languages, kiSwahili, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese and even Braille. She has directed her theatre plays in USA, UK and Greenland, her most widely known and studied theatre text being “Have You Seen Zandile?”. Her poetry has been reinterpreted into dance and classical music. She has recently edited and self-published the “Our Storytelling Tree: A South African Storytellers Directory” book under GAHT and it is the first of its kind in archiving 38 of the storytellers currently working in South Africa. Seven Universities both in South Africa and internationally have awarded her with honorary doctorates for her literary work and contribution to intangible heritage through storytelling
Dr Kuli Kohli was born in India with cerebral palsy. She lives in Wolverhampton and is married with 3 children. She’s retired from Wolverhampton Council after working 32 years. Her pamphlet, Patchwork and full poetry collection A Wonder Woman, are published by Offa’s Press. She runs the Punjabi Women’s Writing Group She’s performed at universities in London, Berlin, Liverpool. She writes for Disability Arts Online. She’s performed at the British Museum celebrating International Disabled Persons Day 2019. In 2020, her life story was featured on BBC News online and appeared on BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live show. She’s Poet Laureate of Wolverhampton 2022-24. In 2022 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Wolverhampton. She’s involved in various projects around the country. www.kulikohli.co.uk
Nana Tomova, The Story Apothecary
Of herself, Nana says:
“Hi, I’m Nana, and I believe that the wisdom and medicine of stories can guide us to find belonging. To ourselves, and to the world.
Stories are soul work.
Stories carry within them a power, a magic, a mystery. Not empty words strung together, but potent, necessary, challenging.
Stories belong to the wild, in ceremonies, to gatherings around the fire, to communities coming together to witness each other. They belong to sorrow and grief; to happiness and ecstasy; to birth and loss; to the land. To mystery.
I am a traditional oral storyteller, a medicine woman, and a nature connection guide. I trained as a pharmacist, and worked in a specialist mental health service for 10 years, before I decided I needed a different story.
Rosie is writer, singer and theatre maker based in Shrewsbury.
This year the focus of her work has been a report on Sacred Nature in Iceland. Rosie is fascinated by the interplay of nature, landscape, mythology and religions ancient and modern.
Rosie also writes historical fiction, mostly exploring the role of women in the First Crusade.
This winter Rosie will be working on a one woman musical about women who served as soldiers and sailors in the Napoleonic Wars. It’s a folk music-inspired piece about female rage and physical fear. A much more large scale piece of work Rosie has in progress is a musical about the life of Aubrey Beardsely, the Victorian illustrator.
Simon Heywood has published poetry, translations fiction and non-fiction, and worked to international acclaim as a storyteller, musician, composer, and workshop leader, performing in pubs, clubs, cafes, festivals, parks, schools, libraries, village halls, cemeteries, theatres, arts centres, forests, living rooms, hospital wards, narrowboats, roundhouses and castles. He completed a PhD on contemporary storytelling at Sheffield University’s National Centre for English Cultural Tradition in 2001 and has lectured in creative writing at Derby University since 1996.
His work with Tim Ralphs on the epic of Gilgamesh was awarded Best Collaboration at the 2012 BASE Awards. He co-wrote the script for the award-winning documentary ‘Contempt of Conscience’ (2008).
His first work on the Arthurian cycle, The Legend of Vortigern, was published by the History Press in 2013. His second book, South Yorkshire Folktales (with Damien Barker), was published in 2015.
Simon Heywood holds a PhD on contemporary storytelling from Sheffield University’s National Centre for English Cultural Tradition. He is the author of ‘The Legend of Vortigern’ (History Press, 2012) and ‘South Yorkshire Folktales’ (with Damien Barker, History Press 2014). He has toured nationally and internationally in live and contemporary storytelling, and created original commissions for Festival at the Edge and the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival.
Caths Cupboard of Customs
Sadly Cath was unable to be with us as she was poorly. This is her bio.
Cath Edwards’ monthly Cupboard of Customs will highlight some, lore and customs that are in keeping with the time of year
Cath’s repertoire is largely based on traditional and folk tales. She revels in sourcing stories, making them her own and passing them on so that her audiences can love them as much as she does.
Cath learnt a love of folklore and stories as a small child; as an adult she told stories to her own children, and, as a teacher, worked with children through story.
Cath now tell stories to adult audiences, family audiences, very young children, school-age children and children and young people with special needs.
Cath is co-host of Lichfield Storytellers and is traditions the Society for Storytelling Midlands representative. Cath’s book West Midlands Folk Tales is available from The History Press; Warwickshire Folk Tales is in preparation. Why not like Cath’s Facebook page for news of her latest projects?