INSTRUCTOR & STORYTELLER: Bil Lepp
“Just as New Jersey has Bruce Springsteen, West Virginia has…Bil Lepp.” – Goldenseal Magazine
Bil Lepp is an award-winning storyteller, author, and recording artist. He’s the host of the History Channel’s Man Vs History series, the occasional host of NPR’s internationally syndicated Mountain Stage, and a contributing columnist to the West Virginia Gazette-Mail. Bil’s humorous tall-tales and stories have earned the appreciation of listeners of all ages and from all walks of life. Though a five-time champion of the WV Liars’s Contest, Lepp’s stories often contain morsels of truth which present universal themes in clever and witty ways. Audiences all across the country, from grade schools to corporate execs to the Comedy Central’s Hudson stage, have been delighted by Bil’s mirthful tales and delightful insights into everyday life. Bil’s books and audio collections have won awards including the PEN Steven Kroll Award for Children’s Book Writing, Parents’ Choice Gold awards, and awards from the National Parenting Publications Assoc., and the Public Library Assoc. He is also the recipient of the Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folk honor.
Class starts at 7:00 pm in the Library Auditorium. This program will be available to watch live on Facebook Live, on YouTube, and on the OCPL website's People's University: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups. Log into your Facebook or YouTube account during the program to leave questions for Bill in the comments box. He will answer them during the live broadcast.
Thursday | March 3, 2022 at 7:00 pm
PU LIVESTREAM: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups — Class 3: "Appalachian Fairy Tales"
People's University: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups
For the Winter session 2022, People's University at the Ohio County Public Library will offer a series on the origins of familiar fairy tales. Patrons are invited to gather around the campfire beneath a canopy of stars and planets to travel back in time to the early days of human story sharing for six Thursday evening sessions starting February 17 at 7 PM.
How are these stories different?
Most of us consider fairy tales to be stories for children, innocent and without real evil or harm. But what's lesser known is that most fairy tales were originally written for adults — and were much more grim and gruesome than those of our childhood. Many of the fairy tales that are still retold today date back to the 17th century and earlier. Favorites like Beauty And The Beast and Rumpelstiltskin are at least 4,000 years old. As these tales were passed down from one century to the next, they were often altered to remove some of the more ghastly and frightening elements, making them more appropriate for a younger audience. However, when we delve back into the fairy tales of our childhood as adults, we can rediscover our heroes and princesses from a different perspective. These often disturbing yet enchanting tales can still yield useful lessons about life for us grown-ups when we take a deeper look at these stories.
All programs in this series are free and open to the public. Each program in this series will feature a campfire along with other special effects. In addition to our normal beverages, hot chocolate will also be available.
Class 1: Feb. 17 — "The Tale of Tales" — Instructor: Nancy Canepa; Music: West Liberty University West African Drums and Dancers; Storyteller: Vince Marshall, "The Ogre"
Class 2: Feb. 24 — "Toward a Theory of the Fairy Tale as a Literary Genre" — Instructor: Dr. Jack Zipes; Storyteller: Don Feenerty, "Hansel And Gretel"
Class 3: Mar. 3 — "Appalachian Fairy Tales" — Instructor & Storyteller: Bil Lepp
Class 4: Mar. 10 — "Bringing the Fairy Tale Back to the Horror Realm" — Instructor: Dr. Jessica R. McCort; Storyteller: TBA
Class 5: Mar. 17 — "Celtic Fairy Tales" — Instructor & Storyteller: Alan Irvine
Class 6: Mar. 24 — Puppetry Finale — Instructors: Irene Alby, Professor of Acting and Directing, and Mary McClung, Professor of Costume Design and Puppetry, both from the School of Theatre and Dance at West Virginia University; Storytellers: WVU School of Theatre and Dance, "Three Little Pigs" and Aesop’s Fables
The Monster Stick & Other Appalachian Tall Tales, by Bil Lepp. (August House Publishers, 1999)
[Reserve a copy from the Library | Purchase a copy online through bookshop.org to support local book stores or visit indiebound.org to find The Monster Stick in a bookstore near you. | Purchase online through Amazon ]
Winner of PLA/ALLS Best New Books for New Adult Readers Storytelling World AwardWhat's the Monster Stick? It's Paul's "nine-foot, surf casting rod full of six miles of brand new 50-pound test Stren Carp cord with 20 pound, custom made, stainless steel, slip-sliding sinkers." The adventures Paul finds himself in from the day the Monster Stick comes into his life rival those of Paul Bunyan but add a modern twist, as when he somehow sets the hook in a DC-10 flown by drug smugglers. Then there's Buck-dog, Bil's "extraordinary hunting dog, whose mama was a German shepherd but whose daddy was a determined and extremely prolific basset hound." Buck is smarter than your average human and stronger than four CS&X train engines pulling in unison, which he proves repeatedly as he takes on anything, including the government. These tall tales led the Lepp brothers to so many championships in the West Virginia State Liars' Competition that their amateur status was nearly revoked. But that's another tale...
➤ View books available at the Library about the history and literary dissection of Fairy Tales
➤ View ebooks available at the through WVDeli about the history and literary dissection of Fairy Tales
➤ View ebooks available at the through Hoopla about the history and literary dissection of Fairy Tales
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In 1951, the Ohio County Public Library's librarian, Virginia Ebeling, referenced British historian Thomas Carlyle, who said, “the public library is a People’s University,” when she initiated a new adult education program with that name. Miss Ebeling charged the library with the responsibility of reaching “as many people in the community as possible.” In keeping with that tradition of public libraries as sanctuaries of free learning for all people, the Ohio County Public Library revived the series in 2010.
The People’s University features courses (taught by experts in each subject) that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in classic subjects such as history, music appreciation, philosophy, and literature. Patrons may attend as many classes as they wish. There are no tests of other requirements and all programs are free and open to the public. For more information about PU: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups, EMAIL US, visit ohiocountylibrary.org or call the library at 304-232-0244.