Telling Stories

Books, of course, are all about stories, but not all stories are about books. Unbound may be a book festival, but we love storytelling of all kinds. This year we are very excited to welcome back to Columbia Milbre Burch. Some of you will already know Milbre as an award-winning and internationally recognized storyteller, and she is returning to Unbound to present her new project, Tales from Beyond the Ban.

Tales from Beyond the Ban is a spoken word concert of oral tradition tales from the seven predominantly-Muslim countries named in President Trump’s initial travel ban. The folktales are bookended by excerpts of oral histories of international graduate students from some of those countries. Tales from Beyond the Ban has been featured at a World Refuge Day event in Columbia, MO; the National Storytelling Network’s 2018 Summit in Kansas City; the RaceBridges online project in Chicago; at the series at the Hans Christian Statue in NYC’s Central Park; and the Grapevine series at Busboys and Poets in DC.

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Now based in Chapel Hill, NC, Milbre Burch is a GRAMMY-nominated spoken word recording artist and an internationally known storyteller. Her work as a theatre artist was honed at the Celebration Barn in South Paris, ME in the eighties. A produced and published playwright, she has performed and taught across the US, Europe and Asia. She received her PhD in theatre and performance studies at the University of Missouri in 2014 and publishes scholarship on the use of storytelling strategies to highlight social justice issues. She will be a teller in residence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, TN this spring.