My Background

I’m a storyteller. This is my inheritance from my grandmother; she learned her skills from her mother and her eight older sisters. My grandmother planted words, like seeds, into my soul, she spun story-threads, she knitted their gossamer into jumpers, crocheted them into lace-shawls. Her tales edged curtains, hemmed handkerchiefs, slipped through the eye-of-the-needle and grew into flowers on plump pillows and tablecloths. She wound them around my fingers as I struggled to master knitting needles and the rhythm of the crochet hook; she spooned them into my coffee and stirred them round and round … and I learned there is nothing life can throw at us that can not be answered with a story.

Storytelling empowers change within us and in our communities. Folktales make our minds flexible and creative, they broaden the scope of our thoughts and perceptions far beyond the limitations of our actual experience in every way. Stories build our ability to empathise, to be compassionate, to develop emotional intelligence. Folktales wake our imagination and show us that we can overcome fear, we can skillfully take control of our daily struggles and shift them to our advantage, and we can take charge of our lives, individually and communally. With imagination and courage we can change and shape a better course of world events. Folktales show us heroines and heroes who create nobler lives by thinking ‘outside the square’, finding courage, recognising allies, and acting with compassion, originality and a sense of humour.

To my inherited oral storytelling skills I added formal studies in Visual Art, Storytelling, Speech formation and Dramatic Art (Europe), a B.A. and B.A. Hon in Creative Writing and Ph.D. on Storytelling, Community Building, Social Responsibility (Australia).

folk tale one eyes two eyes three eyes storytelling iris curteis
Folk Tale ‘One Eyes, Two Eyes, Three Eyes’