PORT TOWNSEND — Melody Sky Eisler describes libraries as “stewards of stories.”
In its role as a steward, the Port Townsend Library will team up with the Quimper Storytelling Guild to partake in a global storytelling evening, the 29th annual “Tellabration!” on Saturday.
Community members can nestle around the historic hearth in the Carnegie Reading Room of the library, 1220 Lawrence St., at 6:30 p.m. to hear stories ranging from Asian folk tales to personal family anecdotes to tall tales.
Perry Spring, one of the organizers of the guild, described the listener experience to come.
“When you hear, ‘This is a true story that never happened’ or ‘One day, old Possom was a-goin’ down the road minding his own business when …,’ don’t you hunger to hear more?” Spring said.
The seven tellers include Pan Greenwood, Pamela Ziemann, Nancy O’Lally, Michele Bruns, Marti Haley, Chas Dowd and Cathy Thomas. Eisler, the library’s director, will preside as master of ceremonies.
“At our vetting session last month, the seven selected tellers previewed stories rich in character and delightfully unique styles of telling,” Eisler said.
While some of Saturday’s featured tellers can boast years of experience, others perform as newcomers to the art form.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive early. The beginning of the program will be “especially accessible” to younger ages, and light refreshments will be provided.
Tellabration! began in 1988 by “yarn spinner” J.G. Pinkerton of Connecticut Storytelling Center. He envisioned an international event as a means of building community support for the oral art of storytelling.
Under the umbrella of the National Storytelling Network, the annual event, held the third Saturday in November, quickly expanded. By 1997, Tellabration! Events popped up in every continent except Antarctica.
This year, more than 40 states and nine countries will host locally organized storytelling performances to delight and captivate audiences.
The idea to organize a local Tellabration! began shortly after the Quimper Story Guild’s first Story Swap in March of this year, according to a press release.
The Quimper Storytelling Guild meets for third Sunday story swaps from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the library’s Learning Center/Pink House.