Donald Davis

Featured Teller: Culpeper Tells 2015 & 2017

Donald Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories. “I didn’t learn stories, I just absorbed them,” he says as he recounts tales and more tales learned from a family of traditional storytellers who have lived on the same Western North Carolina land since 1781. Davis grew up hearing gentle fairy tales, simple and silly Jack tales, scary mountain lore, ancient Welsh and Scottish folktales, and—most importantly—nourishing true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin.

Donald Davis had a twenty-year career as a minister before he became a professional storyteller. His long career as a teller and his promotion of the cultural importance of storytelling through seminars and master classes has led to Davis being dubbed the “dean of storytelling.”

Donald Davis has performed at the Smithsonian, National Storytelling Festival, and World’s Fair. Donald has appeared on PBS, NPR, CNN, and ABC. He has recorded over thirty albums and written eighteen books.

“I could have listened all morning to Donald Davis… his stories often left listeners limp with laughter at the same time they struggled with a lump in the throat.”  – New York Times

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