Meet the storytellers

Bill Harley

Recognized as one of America’s finest performers for families, Bill Harley is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, author and playwright who offers concerts, workshops and keynotes on a variety of subjects. With over twenty recordings of songs and stories and four children’s books to his credit, Bill’s humorous, yet meaningful work chronicles the lives of children at school and at home. The recipient of numerous national awards, including two Grammy nominations, bill was also received into the Circle of Excellence by the National Storytelling Network in 20001. Bill tours nationally as a solo artist as well as with his band, the Troublemakers and he has been a regular commentator on NPT’s All Things Considered since 1991. He makes his home in Seekonk, Massachusetts with his wife, Debbie Block, and two sons, Noah and Dylan.

Michael Reno Harrel

Michael Reno Harrell hails from the Southern Appalachians, where storytelling is a long standing tradition. An award winning songwriter and storyteller, Michael was the kid who begged “Tell me what it was like.” From family members like, “Motorcycle” Eddie Cole, who owned the first motorcycle in those parts, to his compadre Stover Mason, who was still raising fox hounds at 103, Michael gathered facts, fabrications and fibs which have seeped into his stories and songs like mountain rain. Humor was what helped get those old timers through a hard existence and it is a big part of Michael’s performances today.

Angela Lloyd

One of the unique performers on the national storytelling circuit today, Angela was featured at the 25th (1997) and 31st (2003) National Storytelling Festival, in Jonesborough, Tennessee and regularly appears at regional festivals and theatres across the country. A virtuosa on Washboard, Angela's performances are a whimsical braid of poetry, story and song played on Autoharp, Tenor Guitar, Spoon and Bell. The stories are selected from a variety of sources including traditional world folktales, the oral tradition, original works based on personal experience and the best in children's literature, i.e. (Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories, the poetry of A. A. Milne, Naomi Shihab Nye). The songs are drawn from her childhood, contemporary singer/songwriters, folk songs, along with her original musical compositions based on the poetry of e.e. cummings, A. A. Milne, and Pablo Neruda.

Barbara McBride-Smith

Barbara McBride-Smith grew up in Texas, was educated in Massachusetts, discovered the ways of the world on the Jersey shore, and finally settled down in Oklahoma. She has been a school librarian for 44 years and a seminary professor for more than 20 years. As a performing storyteller, she has entertained audiences across the U.S. and is frequently featured at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. She is a member of the National Storytelling Circle of Excellence and a recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award for Outstanding Contributions to Storytelling.

Storytellers of New Mexico

Phyllis Bergman

I tell stories to older children or adults. My stories center around self-empowerment, travel and stories with a "point," usually about growth and change. Many of my stories are suited for older girls and women. They often stress finding your own voice. Some of my stories are just plain fun...others are more serious. I can adapt a program to suit your particular needs. I also have a collection of stories about New Mexico's first 100 years as a state, suitable for upcoming Centennial celebrations.

Sarah Malone

Sarah Malone is a New Mexico bilingual storyteller who has been weaving tales for children and adults for over twenty years. Through storytelling, Sarah breathes life into words – drawing the listener into another realm through the powerful relationship between storyteller and listener. She is a published author, recording artist, and a founding member of Storytellers of New Mexico.

Youth Storytellers

Samantha DeWees

Samantha DeWees is in the 8th grade at Hermosa Middle School and will turn 14 on October 7. Samantha loves to play volleyball, run, ride her bike, write and her nose is almost always stuck in a book. Samantha would like to become a forensic scientist to help solve crimes. This is Samantha's 6th year telling stories at the festival. Every year she enjoys telling a story from her favorite author, Robert Munsch. Samantha says "storytelling is fun for me because I love to do the different expressions and voices to make the story come alive."

Kaitlyn DeWees

Kaitlyn is in the 3rd grade and this is her second year telling stories at the festival. Kaitlyn enjoys softball, basketball and soccer. Kaitlyn says her sister Samantha is a really good storyteller.


Jacob Kelly

Jacob Kelly is 14 and has been with the Story Telling Festival for four years. He enjoys story telling and entertaining the kids. He goes to Aztec High School, and plays for the Aztec High School golf team. His favorite subject in school is Science. His favorite hobbies are playing piano and trumpet and reading. He Enjoys the outdoors, and loves snowboarding.

Ben Kelly

Ben Kelly is 11 and this is His 3rd year in story telling. He enjoys school at Koogler Middle School, where he is in 6th grade. He was recently elected to the Student Council. His favorite subject is Band, where he plays saxophone. He Loves playing Basketball, and Baseball and played 2nd base this summer on the Defenders Team. His favorite hobbies are building legos, swimming, and building model jets.

Avery Palic

Avery Palic is 11 years old. Her hobbies include horseback riding, volleyball, tennis, and art and crafts. She has lots of pets and loves to be outside working with her dad. She hopes to be a nurse, a teacher, or a vet when she grows up. She was recently selected as a Representative for Student Council at her school.

Avery is following in her brother, Gunner's footsteps as a youth storyteller in the Four Corners Storytelling Festival this year. She chose one of her favorite stories and likes all the different characters.

Youth interested in being a youth storyteller/emcee for 2013, download and complete the Youth Storytelling Form and return to Youth Services at the Farmington Public Library or email to Some of our youth storytellers have told at the Taos Storytelling Festival, National Storytelling Festival and Jonesborough

Listen to Cuentos Hahne and Tales on KSJE Radio 90.9 FM Radio, Fridays at 2:00pm for more storytelling! We miss and want to thank Connie Gotsch for her support and dedicate 2012 youth storytelling in her memory.