Come and be entertained with the storytelling of Greg Rodgers! He will be telling stories at the Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Conference Center on Wednesday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m. This is the second program in the SWOSU Library's 2008 Library Showcase series. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend!
A member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Greg Rodgers is a burgeoning writer and storyteller. He is a descendant of the Reverend Israel Folsom who was a co-author of the first Choctaw dictionary and a prominent Choctaw leader in both Mississippi and Oklahoma during the 1800s. Rodgers is an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma's Native American Studies Program.
Rodger's short story, "Harriet's Burden," is included in the 2006 November/December special Native American issue of Storytelling Magazine, the membership publication of the National Storytelling Network. This story is the first in a series of short stories based on family remembrances. Another story, "Giddy Up, Wolf", will be included in an anthology of Native American trickster tales to be released in the Fall of 2008. This collection includes trickster tales by about 20 Native American storytellers from across the country. Also, his children's book, The Ghost of Mingo Creek and Other Spooky Oklahoma Legends, was published by the Forty-Sixth Star Press in September of 2008. This 104 page book features eight creepy tales that take place across the Oklahoma landscape. From a ghost that haunts Tulsa County's Mingo Creek to the Kiamichi Country's bigfoot in the southeast region of the state, the fictionalized stories, are based on rich Oklahoma legends.
An accomplished Native American flute player, Rodgers has performed and presented workshops at schools, libraries, and tribal events throughout Oklahoma. He has performed stories for diverse audiences, including the Choctaw Nation Storytelling Festival that is held annually in McAlester, Oklahoma, and the 2006 Okla Chahta Gathering that is held annually in Bakersfield, California.
In 2007, Rodgers was a featured performer at the Fort Worth Library’s Native American Heritage Month Celebration. Also, in 2007, he performed during the Native American Concert at the Texas Storytelling Festival in Denton, Texas.
In addition to the writing, telling, and collecting of stories, Rodgers serves as a newly elected board member for both the Oklahoma Choctaw Tribal Alliance and Territory Tellers, the Oklahoma state storytelling organization. He is also a regional vice-president for the Folsom Family Association.
Greg Rodgers' storytelling repertory includes both traditional and contemporary Choctaw stories, family stories, and travel stories from the year he spent in Prague teaching English. Over the summer of 2006, he completed a storytelling mentorship under the direction of professional Choctaw storyteller and author, Tim Tingle, sponsored by the University of Oklahoma. For the last year, he has studied the craft of storytelling with a nationally respected and acclaimed Appalachian master storyteller, Elizabeth Ellis. The storytelling performances by Rodgers are a public demonstration of his true passion, the collection and respectful preservation of his people’s memories -- the foundation of the Choctaw oral narrative.