Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Brunt Boggart’

Storytelling Starters ~Brunt Boggart

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Lanzarote frontNow I’m in my 60s, I feel I can finally come out. I love books. That’s it. I love books. A long time ago, when the Storytelling Revival was gathering steam in the early 80s, it felt impossible to say such a thing if you wanted to be regarded as a storyteller. Everything had to be oral. And as an aspiring storyteller, you preferably had to be seen to come from a long tradition of ‘oral’ with a family culture of oral taletelling behind you.

I’ve always loved books. I love stories and storytelling too. But I also love books. Many of the stories I tell come from books. But of all the books I’ve read, only a minority were ones I deliberately picked up to look for storytelling material. During the last couple of weeks, however, a book I got sent to review for The School Librarian  unexpectedly turned out to be real storytelling stuff – a bit  like coming across a newly written Odyssey.

Brunt Boggart is the book in question. It’s the kind of book I’d like to read out loud to young people. Maybe I’d also like to read it to adults. The language is inventive but also direct. Its rhythms feel like those of spoken language. Names for things and people sound folkloric but freshly coined. What characters say is idiomatic and also spicy  like what you want in an oral story. Places and landscapes give the sense of being familiar, as if they’ve always been there and the underlying story is one whose theme is deep in all myth. It’s the search for the place where everything comes right.

Brunt Boggart – the story

Greychild is a boy who’s brought out of the forest when the boys-who-would-be-men of Brunt Boggart go into the forest to find and fight Wolf. Is he a wolf-boy? He’s certainly strange. Brought back into the village, he gets socialized. The girlen love him and plait flowers into his hair. But there’s something else inside Greychild. It’s a memory of his mother who, as he recalls, used to come into the forest to see and feed him until one day when she came no more. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Tough times

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Roses 3It’s been a tough week for us here this week. On Friday a week ago, my brother-in-law, Andrew, had to go into hospital. He’d been having a very hard time health-wise over the last weeks and months and he  died late in the evening on Wednesday. In many ways, it was a merciful release for him but it’s a big loss for us and his friends. 

So please bear with me for not writing any more until next week. At that point, I’ll hope to say a bit about a new book called Brunt Boggart which is by the writer and poet David Greygoose. I’ve been sent it for review in The School Librarian and although it’s intended for teenagers, I think it deserves a good deal of attention from a wider age-range and especially from a storytelling point of view. Both because of its content and the beauty of the writing, it has given me a lot of comfort during the course of this week and I’m very grateful to it for that. (more…)