Storytelling to be subject of Yeager Symposium

October 7, 2018

HUNTINGTON — World-renowned storyteller Adam Booth will pay a visit to Marshall University this month for the Society of Yeager Scholars’ 31st annual Yeager Symposium.

Booth will present “Regional Storytelling Traditions and the Importance of an Appalachian Di-y’all-ect” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on Marshall’s Huntington campus. Admission is free.

Booth’s storytelling blends traditional folklore, music, and an awareness of contemporary Appalachia. His original cinematic style is both humorous and touching, and is influenced by generations of diverse storytellers from West Virginia.

Booth is a member of the Recording Academy who teaches Appalachian studies at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and is the founding director of the Speak Story Series. His storytelling appearances have included Teller-In-Residence at the International Storytelling Center (three times), New Voice at the National Storytelling Festival, and resident at the Banff (Alberta, Canada) Spoken Word program.

Victoria Endres, a Yeager Scholar and a Literary Studies and Creative Writing major who helped bring Booth to campus, says Booth’s stories are more than entertainment.

“They are little bits of history,” Endres said. “They teach us about our own world and how we see it and interact with it.”

She says the fact that Booth is an Appalachian native gives him a unique ability to tell stories that involve the region.

“He does an amazing job of threading beautiful stories that illustrate the power and significance of our past,” she said. “His stories are a great opportunity to experience an Appalachian tradition in a way that makes you forget you’re hearing a performance.”

This year’s Yeager Symposium was organized by the Dr. Daniel Babb Class of 2019 and is sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Wolfe and the St. Mary’s Medical Center.