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NSN Storyteller Profile ... Gwynn W. Ramsey

Appalachian Storyteller

1156Jefferson Way
Forest, VA 24551

(434) 525-1252


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Dr. Gwynn Ramsey heard his first tales from his grandmaw when he was only a child living in the foothills of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. His interest in performing these amusing and thought-provoking tales, often in dialect, spans many years. He earned B.S. and M.A. degrees at A.S.T.C. in Boone, NC., where he was influenced by English professor, Dr. John Hamilton and folklorist, Dr. Cratis Williams. While teaching at Bethel High School, 14 miles west of Boone, he met the Profitt, Hicks, and Presnell families where storytelling and folklore influences abounded. While teaching at Lees McRae College in the shadows of Grandfather and Beech Mountains, He met the published folklorist, Richard Chase, Who was the first person to encourage Gwynn to storytell. Subsequent to achieving the Ph.D. in Botany at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Gwynn taught Botany at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA, in view of the Blue Ridge, for 32 years.

Gwynn's passion for storytelling, a cappella singing, and playing harmonica, spans more than 35 years. He tells traditional Southern Appalachian folktales, legends, ghost stories, riddles, nature poetry, personal tales, sacred tales, and plays harmonica. His memberships are: National Storytelling Network, Network of Biblical Storytellers, Virginia storytelling Alliance, Virginia Folklore Society, and the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society. Some of Gwynn's credits are: Blue Ridge Storytelling Festival, Smoky Mountain Storytelling Festival, National Storytelling Festival(Swapping Ground), Gatlinburg Wildflower Pilgrimage, South Carolina Baptist Men's Convention, and Sounds of the Mountains Festival. He has produced four CDs: Jacktales from the Southern Appalachians; Folktales, Songs and Poems of the Southern Appalachians; Spirit of the Southern Appalachians and Spirit of the Southern Appalachians II. His DVD, Storytelling and Folklore from the Southern Appalchians, Plays 110min.

Types of stories I tell:

Folktales from the Southern Appalachians: Ancient Tales, Tall Tales, Jack Tales, Fool Irishman Tales, Sacred Stories, Ghost Stories, Jump Tales, Nature Poetry, A Cappella Singing, Harmonica Tale

I tell stories for:

All Ages

I provide workshops:


I am willing to travel:


My travel requirements:

To be negotiated. Fee schedules provided upon request

School Districts I am cleared to work in:

Virginia: Amherst County, Allegheny County, Appomattox County, Bath County, Bedford County,Campbell County, City of Lynchburg, Nelson County, Pittsylvania County, City of Roanoke

I am willing to mentor:


Organizations I belong to:

National Storytelling Network, Virginia Folklore Society, Virginia Storytelling Alliance, Network of Biblical Storytellers, Southern Appalachian Botanical Society, Society of Herbarium Curators