Geraldine Buckley

Featured Teller: Culpeper Tells 2017

I have always loved stories – listening to them, reading them, telling them.  Stories are a gift.  They have such a wonderful way of transporting the listener into a different realm – a land of infinite possibilities.  Heard at the right time stories can pierce problems with wise solutions, allow despair to be dispersed by hope, dissipate fear with a dose of courage and, perhaps most important, scatter joy.

Although I sometimes tell ancient folktales with a nugget of wisdom buried within the narrative, I particularly love telling true stories quivering with the laughter and lessons learned upon my odd and winding journey.

Often if I am in a tense situation or someone asks me a difficult question I will answer with a story—establishing common ground between us—before reacting or giving an answer. After all—underneath we are all the same—we all long to be understood, to be loved, to be heard.  A story can cut beneath cultural and intellectual facades far quicker than any diplomatic speech or long winded moralizing.  Stories are the shortest distance between two hearts.

It is only recently that I have officially labeled myself as a full time storyteller—but as a preacher, a teacher, a speaker, a performance poet, a radio host, a TV presenter, a motivational speaker, a writer, among a slew of other creative titles—I have been telling stories publicly for decades and teaching others how to do so.

Since leaving my position as Protestant Chaplain at MCTC, the largest men’s prison in Maryland, in January 2010 (where between counseling, preaching and bridging huge cultural divides, stories were my everyday currency) I have returned to speaking, writing and storytelling full time through the company I established in 2004 – Releasing Creative Potential.

“Geraldine Buckley is a passionate woman. Her capacity for hilarity is equal to her capacity to care for the most downtrodden people you or I might encounter. When she laughs (while seated) her feet rise up, her head rears back and her hands clap – she reminds me of a five-year-old little girl who has just been given a real life magenta-colored pony for her birthday. When I heard her tell stories, I found myself caring for the souls of the downtrodden. I also noticed my feet rising, my hands clapping, and my heart warmer and somehow wiser.” —Andy Offutt Irwin, National Storyteller, Singer, Songwriter

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