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Appalachian Storytelling: Work of Sound Fellow, Adam Booth

Adam Booth, Sound Fellow, proposed to study items from the Leonard Roberts Collection in the Berea Sound Archives. His focus was on those artifacts and mentifacts with earlier collectiondates, hoping that the informants would have had less interaction wit

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Adam BoothShepherdstown, West Virginia / 2014-2015 Fellow / Topics: Folklore; Appalachian Storytelling

Project: Using audio recordings from the Leonard Roberts Collection, Adam’s research focused on how storytellers put words together, the melodic and rhythmic qualities of their storytelling, and interesting or unusual phrases and colloquialisms. He found that many of the stories Roberts collected are interspersed with verse or song recited with emphasized drama. His study revealed common rhythmic elements used by many tellers from different Kentucky counties. These elements appear in similar narrative moments — even in stories with very different content. For the past three years Adam has taught courses in Appalachian storytelling, folklore and music for the Appalachian Studies minor at Shepherd University. His storytelling blends traditional folklore, music, and an awareness of contemporary Appalachia. Awards for stories and recordings include a Parents' Choice Silver Honor, Storytelling World Awards Honors, and four West Virginia Liars’ Contest wins.