A black and white picture of Fay, a clean-shaven, white person with very curly, shoulder-length hair, performing indoors. They are strangely lit from several angles, with odd shadows thrown on the wall and door behind them. They are facing off to the left of the viewer, over their shoulder, with a somewhat anguished expression on their face, away from their raised, cupped hand. They are wearing a white, v-necked, linen shirt with capped sleeves, and an open, grey tweed waistcoat, a delicate metal pendant on an almost invisible chain, and a silver thumb ring on the upraised hand.
Fay telling tales at SHINDIG

I’ve been a storyteller of one kind or another my whole life, coming from a family of raconteurs, assuming that everyone told tales this way, and everyone had a battery of anecdotes and familial legends to trot out at a moment’s notice. So drifting from performance poetry into storytelling became somewhat inevitable, especially when I surrendered to my fate and went to get some training from none other than Marion Leeper, who’d already been showing us poets how it’s done at a bunch of mixed bill open mics and the like in Cambridge.

Drawing from her example, along with that of Red Phoenix (who kindly provided amazing dramaturgy skills), witnessing others weaving solid story, myth, improvisation, and delight in communication together, I ended up using some of those skills in sections of The Selkie, which are never told the same way twice, and I’ve gone on to tell tales to folk of all ages (though I’m definitely more in my element telling to grown-ups than children).

I’m starting to specialise in writing bespoke stories that feel like they’re folktale but are, in fact, originals tailored to people or events, and again – that’s something I’ve been doing on and off for years, for friends, and now… I get to do it at festivals and libraries and the like.

(Page under construction; more info and links to follow.)