Story by Story

Join PSPL for Story by Story, a monthly storytelling series for adults and mature teens. Listen as diverse tellers from around the country tell stories reflecting a variety of cultures, beliefs, and experiences. Performances run 45-60 minutes, followed by an up-to 30 minute discussion opportunity.

Story by Story will be held in the Library’s River Room, and an American Sign Language interpreter will be provided for all events. Please register for each individual event, as space is limited. For more information, contact Diane Dehoney at (502) 352-2665 x108 or


E Komo Mai! Welcome and spend an evening hearing tales of old and not so old Hawaii. Explore ancient Hawaiian legends of Gods and Goddesses with kama’aina storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung. Hear about life on the sugar and pineapple plantations in the 1930s, as well as eye witness accounts of the attack on Pearl Harbor from the civilians on shore and the folks on board the ships at anchor. Take in these slices of island life not normally found in any tourist brochure. Come and enjoy an evening of tales from the Aloha State!

Japanese-Korean storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung grew up with the superstitions and the magic of the Hawaiian Islands. He tells stories from Hawaii, Asian folktales, ghost stories, stories from the Japanese-Americans experience of WWII, the plantation days in Hawaii, and the immigration of the Chinese into the U.S. He has performed at the Timpanogos and the National Storytelling Festivals and at international storytelling festivals in the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Vietnam, India, and Thailand. He is also a former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Network, the national organization for storytellers in the U.S.

This event is sponsored by Nancy Atcher and PSPL.



For over thirty years, Charlotte Blake Alston has been committed to preserving and sharing stories from African and African American oral traditions. She has shared stories in a wide range of venues including the John F. Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Museum of Women in the Arts. She has made appearances at festivals at home and abroad including the National Storytelling Festival, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, and festivals in Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, and Brazil. Charlotte also appears as a narrator for orchestras around the country. In the summer of 2021, she was named the Official Storyteller, Narrator, and Host of the Philadelphia Orchestra. For this program, Charlotte will select from the repertoire of stories and songs – traditional and contemporary – that have become the hallmark of her storytelling performances.

Registration begins Monday, June 13.


Ni de Aquí, Ni de Allá / Not From Here nor From There

Daughter to Colombian immigrants, Jasmin’s whole life has been spent trying to figure out how to fit in, both in the US and Colombia, while also trying to be true to herself. Take a journey through stories that run from childhood to adulthood as she (a first generation North American) learns about her identity, her role as a woman and how to balance being both a gringa and an exotic amazon chicky. Presentation will be in a mix of English and Spanish.

Jasmin Cardenas is a Colombian-American storyteller, actress, director, and published writer who loves telling stories to children and adults. A LAB Fellow at The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University, Jasmin harnesses the power of art in action. Her collective WorkersTEATRO uses theater to fight for workers rights, and just published its first magazine of stories from working Chicagoans. Recently she collaborated as Adaptor and Performer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Children’s Theater. The 2018 ALTA Award winner for Outstanding Storyteller by the Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists of Chicago, and the first of two Latinas to receive the Race Bridges Storytelling Fellowship, Jasmin thanks her Mamá y Papá for embodying the ethic of hard work. This SAG-AFTRA Actress has guest starred on The CHI (Showtime) and Chicago Fire (NBC). Jasmin loves dancing salsa, drinking mojito,s and giggling in a camping tent with her little familia. Stay connected at: or Insta: #1JasminCardenas

Ni de Aquí, Ni de Allá / Not From Here nor From There

Hija de inmigrantes colombianos, Jasmin ha pasado toda su vida tratando de descubrir cómo encajarse tanto en los EE.UU como en Colombia, mientras trata de ser fiel a sí misma. Realice un viaje a través de historias que van desde la infancia hasta la edad adulta a medida que esta estadounidense de primera generación aprende sobre su identidad, su papel como mujer, y el equilibrio entre ser una gringa y una amazona exótica. La presentación será en una mezcla de inglés y español.

Jasmin Cardenas es una narradora Cuenta Cuentos, actriz, directora y escritora colombiana-estadounidense a la que le encanta contar historias a niños y adultos. Miembro del LAB en The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics (el Laboratorio para el Desempeño Global y la Política), en la Universidad de Georgetown, Jasmin aprovecha el poder del arte en acción. Su colectivo WorkersTEATRO (TEATRO de Trabajadores) utiliza el teatro para luchar por los derechos de los trabajadores, y acaba de publicar su primera revista de historias de trabajadores de Chicago. Recientemente colaboró como Adaptadora e Intérprete con la Orquesta Sinfónica de Chicago y el Teatro Infantil de Chicago. Jasmin, ganadora del Premio ALTA 2018 de Narrador Destacado por la Alianza de Artistas de Teatro Latinx de Chicago, y la primera de dos latinas en recibir la Beca de Narración de Cuentos Race Bridges, agradece a su Mamá y Papá por encarnar una ética trabajadora. Esta actriz de SAG-AFTRA ha sido estrella invitada en The CHI (Showtime) y Chicago Fire (NBC). A Jasmin le encanta bailar salsa, beber mojitos y reírse en una carpa de campamento con su pequeña familia. Manténgase conectado: or Insta: #1JasminCardenas

Registration begins Monday, July 4.


Dovie Thomason tells with elegance, wit, passion, sly humor, and astonishing vocal transformations, creating a climate with the audience where laughter, learning, and respect come together. Dovie’s love of stories began early: “I fell in love with stories when I was just a girl,” Dovie explained to the BBC. “I was surrounded by them. I was really fortunate, because my father would tell stories… And my grandmother would tell me these old-time stories about animals and heroes and women of great power. And in each story, there was usually a small lesson—sometimes a large lesson. And how large the lessons were in those stories I’ve only learned as I’ve grown older.” She has spent a lifetime gathering and weaving those tales with stories from her own life into a passionate and compelling contemporary vision. Come hear Dovie as she shares her thoughts on contemporary life through her stories.

Thomason considers herself a river, fed by many streams: Lakota, Plains Apache, and Scot Traveller ancestry, urban Chicago and rural Texas, the Internet and Indigenous elders, family teachings and university classrooms – and draws on those contrasts and cultures in her work. Conveying these stories respectfully and responsibly is Thomason’s calling and has made her one of the most respected and admired storytellers of her generation. When she adds personal stories and untold histories, the result is a contemporary narrative of Indigenous history and identity in North America told with elegance, wit, and passion. She has been featured at countless prominent global events, including the Kennedy Center, National Museum of the American Indian, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and festivals from Tennessee to Estonia, New Zealand to New Mexico. She is a recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence award and the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers Traditional Storyteller Award.

Registration begins Monday, August 22.


Yvonne Healy didn’t simply kiss the Blarney Stone; she swallowed it. A citizen of two cultures, Irish and American, Yvonne spoke both languages as a child. From this world of hidden treasures rose one of America’s most endearing storytellers. Funny, thought-provoking, and dynamic, too! A little bit Ireland and a little bit USA, Healy’s award-winning stories delight audiences across the Rocky Mountains, the North Woods, Midwestern plains, and East Coast. Savor the stew of her Irish gift of gab spiced with the multicultural spice of an American upbringing. The Republic of Ireland’s cultural authorities recognize Healy as the foremost teller of Irish stories in the USA and her storytelling is regularly featured at large Irish festivals in North America. With Halloween fast approaching, Yvonne will tell Irish ghost stories.

Registration begins Monday, September 19.



Past Storytellers

In “An Evening with Marguerite Van Camp, M.D.”, Andy tells the adventures of his eighty-five-year-old-widowed-newly-minted-physician (fictional) aunt, Marguerite Van Camp, a woman who avoids curmudgeonship by keeping her finger on the pulse of the changing world around her as she seeks to grow – even at her advanced age – in the New South.

With a manic, Silly Putty voice, astonishing mouth noises, and heart-filled stories, Andy Offutt Irwin is equal parts mischievous schoolboy and the Marx Brothers, peppered with a touch of the Southern balladeer. He has been a Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival ten times and is a perennial favorite at the International Storytelling Center’s Teller-in-Residence Series. A storyteller, theatre director, singer-songwriter, and Shakespearean actor, Andy was Artist-in-Residence at Emory University’s Oxford College from 1991-2007. He has performed at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in New York (the FAME! school), The Library of Congress, Walt Disney World, and a whole mess of theatres, colleges, and festivals all over the United States. Andy lives in Covington, Georgia. He thinks he is funny.


Ray tells stories of his upbringing in a southern ghetto, his family life, and his transition from ghetto kid to soldier to academic.

Ray Christian is a retired decorated Army paratrooper and combat veteran, Doctor of Education, Fulbright Specialist Expert in Education and Storytelling Narrative, and former adjunct professor teaching African American History and Storytelling at Appalachian State University. Ray has performed on the National Storytelling Festival New Voices stage and at numerous storytelling festivals around the country. He is a 12-time Moth Story Slam champion, and winner of the 2016 National Storytelling Festival Story Slam. His stories have been featured multiple times on the The Moth Radio Hour, Snap Judgment, and Back Story Radio, as well as Spooked, Story Collider, AdultISH, The Confessional, and Risk podcasts among many others. He resides in the remote mountains of Watauga County, North Carolina, where he hosts and produces the podcast What’s Ray Saying?, a show that uses history and story to explore the Black American experience from a unique perspective.


Laura Packer’s extensive repertoire includes traditional tales from around the world; retold fairy tales and myths that reveal new perspectives; personal narrative that amuses and moves; original magical realism fiction full of wonder; scary stories; historical works; improvised stories that exist only for one performance; and more. Her stories cover the range of human experience from the most grounded to the fantastical and are a collaborative creation with the audience, drawing listeners into the world of the story. Join us as Laura shares some of her favorite stories with you!

Laura Packer has been sharing stories globally for almost 30 years. Her work spans performance, teaching, consulting, coaching, and keynote speaking. Packer began sharing stories as a child, inspired by her librarian mother and writer father. Her degree is in Folklore and Mythology from Boston University, pursued in part so she could spend four years reading fairy tales. Her 2019 books, From Audience to Zeal: The ABCs of Finding, Crafting, and Telling a Great Story and the accompanying workbook won best in their category from Storytelling World Awards. Among other awards, in 2020 she was inducted into the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence, a select-group of storytellers determined by their peers to be standard bearers of the art, and masters at the craft. She believes storytelling has the power to connect, heal, and change the world.