I WAS SO FORTUNATE to have the chance to talk storytelling and oral history at The Galt in Lethbridge, Alberta, in May 2017.
This was the description for my Thursday night talk:
The fourth son of a fourth wife. A celebrated Inuit artist who drowned to death. A Piikani woman known as Mary Jane. A settler wife we’ll call Josie. In this talk, award-winning writer Natalie Appleton reads from and discusses four short works that explore the fantastical past of the Prairies and the untold lives of minorities. These stories–both creative non-fiction prose and poetry–are acts of journalism that aim to name these men and women, tell of their families and hopes before they fell, but also to ask the media, the public and the police what if? with a startling voice that steps out from behind the page.
The talk was sponsored by wonderful people at The University of Lethbridge’s Centre for Oral History and Tradition. These men and women do such important work, and it instantly felt like I was with ‘my people.’
I had the chance to do a workshop on using oral history in writing with the lovely and brilliant Dr. Jenna Bailey, author of Can Any Mother Help Me? (a wonder of a non-fiction book about the secret lives of housewives in mid-century England.
Lethbridge and these ladies, you stole my heart!