Sharing Our Stories: Seattle Public Library Celebrates the Art of Storytelling


“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” – Joan Didion

One evening a friend took me to Roy Street Coffee and Tea in Capitol Hill to a standing room only event. It was a Thursday night and I was at Fresh Ground Stories, a first-person storytelling open mic inspired by The Moth Radio Hour. The room was warm with so many bodies, stuffed chairs, and steaming lattes, but ordinary coffee shop din was virtually absent as the crowd’s attention was honed on the teller at the microphone. I was floored by the jaw dropping honesty, beauty, courage, hilarity, and universality of each story I encountered. Hearing strangers tell these true personal stories in front of a live audience left me changed: grinning foolishly, laughing loudly, and, more often than I’d like to admit, reaching for a scrunched up Kleenex.

And here, part of a growing audience of story hungry junkies, I had an essential realization. Where few feel confident sharing their artistic musings at poetry readings or other hip lit events — we are all equipped to tell a story, our own stories. Our personal stories, our cultural stories, our family stories, our imagined stories. It’s not esoteric, but something we do all the time; storytelling is our social currency. Drawn in like a moth to a flame, a smoldering bonfire in the woods, who doesn’t love an invitation to a good story? Especially in this age of iPhone zombies and digital everything, storytelling is alive and perhaps more meaningful than ever before. It brings people together — to share and to listen — and what could be more awesomely analog, more timely, or more powerful?

Please join us for Sharing Our Stories and become engaged with storytelling again, in a new way. Free programs for all ages featuring:

For Adults: True stories told live with host Paul Currington of Fresh Ground Stories, Saturday, November 1st from 3-5pm at the University Branch. The coffee is on us!

For Teens: Attend RadioActive, a FREE two-day radio journalism workshop for youth aged 13-19 in KUOW’s professional studios where you learn how to create and edit your own radio story. October 25th and 26th. Registration is required for this event. Please call 206-684-4063 for more information.

For Families: Campfire songs, stories, and s’mores with Nancy Stewart around an indoor camp fire (suspend your disbelief; it IS possible) at the Northgate Library! Tuesday, October 28th  starting at 6:30pm.

Please check out the calendar of events for more information about these and other upcoming events.

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