Sunday, January 2, 2011
December 1, 2010
Storytellers are real-life helpers of community
Service organizations benefit from two people who can spin a good tale.
SARA POKORNY firstname.lastname@example.org
A Wilkes-Barre native and her English-born husband are using words, as well as their Thanksgiving holiday, to lift the spirits of local people.
click image to enlargeStoryteller Daria Walsh and writer Paul Tubb are doing more than entertaining. They are also doing good for the community.
DON CAREY/THE TIMES LEADER
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Times Leader Photo StoreDaria M. Walsh and Paul H. Tubb are in the area visiting relatives, on vacation from their home in Ireland. The couple, deeply involved in the arts, are using their time to bring their creativity to some local organizations and help raise money and awareness.
Walsh, 42 and a photographer, has delved into the art of traditional Irish storytelling this past year. She performs with an Irish group called Milk and Cookies Stories.
On Sunday, Walsh used her storytelling talents to raise money for the St. Vincent DePaul Kitchen in Wilkes-Barre. She based her show on the concept “A Story for my Supper,” which draws inspiration from the Irish poets, bards and storytellers who often bartered with locals for supper and shelter in exchange for a storytelling session.
Later this week, Walsh will tell stories to women at Ruth’s Place, in Wilkes-Barre, as well as speak to a group of artists with Down syndrome, Verve Vertu, at Arts YOUniverse.
Walsh enjoys the conversational style of Irish storytelling, as well as the tradition and creativity that come along with it.
“I incorporate a lot of the mythology and folklore into my stories,” she said, “but what I’m working with right now are all originals of mine.”
Tubb, 37, also has a way with words, but his are of the written variety. An IT contractor, he began writing silly children’s poems and limericks in 2004, shortly after Walsh suffered a miscarriage.
“I think it was a therapeutic thing for me to do in such a rough time,” he said.
Tubb’s therapy has sprung into a children’s book full of nonsense poems and limericks. The subjects range from soccer (or football, as it’s called in England) to a library plagued by rain and a Scottish man with English teeth.
Tubb will perform poems from the book, titled “Please Do Not Encourage This Nonsense By Purchasing This Book,” at the Barnes & Noble in the Arena Hub Plaza tonight and Saturday. The book is not only written by Tubb, but also self-published and self-illustrated.
Tubb has always loved rhymes and feels he was most inspired by humorous literature throughout his life.
“I’ve always loved making people laugh,” he said, “and I always find it enjoyable to read to children.” The combination of the two is what has driven him to not only write for children, but also to help organizations dedicated to them.
He likes to send a message to kids through all the silliness.
“It’s about importance of just being yourself, just being who you are,” he said. “If you are a little offbeat, be a little offbeat, it’s okay.”
The couple met while Walsh was on a working holiday as a photographer in 2002. Tubb was best friends with one of her housemates, and the two instantly clicked. Walsh decided to move to Ireland with Tubb, and they were married in 2004.
In addition to the many charities they contribute to, they have taken part in Children’s Book Festival Ireland, an event that runs in conjunction with all of the libraries across Ireland.