Beth Phillips Brown Poet & Storyteller In the Welsh & Celtic Tradition performances readings residencies workshops seminars
Welcome to my home on the world wide web.
It is through story that we really learn about who we are. We learn how to solve problems, how to get along with each other, how to value people. A lot of important stories have to do with learning about being more human.
I believe that it is imperative for each of us to understand his or her own personal stories and ethnic traditions. It is through these that bridges to other cultures and traditions are built.
My primary goal in telling Welsh and Celtic stories is to give them an authentic true voice in their natural home of oral tradition rather than solely in print. I use the Welsh language to meet a three-fold goal: to create awareness of its existence, to make the audience comfortable with the sounds, and to make them eager to learn more.
As often as possible, I spend time in Wales for research and to make contact with other storytellers, tradition carriers, and arts organizations. In 1995, I did research at the Welsh National Museumof Folklife, listening to tapes of, by then, elderly tradition bearers,recorded 20 to 30 years before. On my most recent trip I was able to see Llech Gronw, the stone through which Llew's spear flew, Eglwys Melangell, the ancient church and lands associated with Saint Melangell (patron saint of hares and wildlife) and Coed-y-Foel Isaf,the ancestral home of Edward and Elinor Foulke.
My research in Wales has given me a wealth of stories,but more importantly, it supports my ability to incorporate Welsh in performance,a facet of my work I consider extremely important in order to expose Welsh Americans to the sounds of their ancestors' language, to give Welsh learners the opportunity to practice their aural skills and to restore a sense of pride in an ancient literary heritage. For the general public, I feel it is my obligation to raise awareness of the Welsh language and its endangered status as a means to preserve and protect it.
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