Marilyn Braaten, Thermopolis

Marilyn Braaten holds a degree in social work from Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, and is a mental health case manager. Storytelling is a major interest. She was a member of the Heartland Storytelling Group, Austin, Minnesota, before moving to Wyoming. She has performed personal stories and historic rendezvous portrayals. She served as an artist in residence at Hot Springs County Schools 1990-1991, teaching story creation, storytelling in elementary to promote reading and language enrichment, and sharing memories. In 2015, she portrayed Virginia Bridger, daughter of Jim Bridger, mountain man, for the Hot Springs Historical Society. “We are all led by the tale, with stories wanting to be told.”

Michelle King, Basin

Michelle King became interested in storytelling as an art while studying for a master’s degree in library science at the University of Kentucky. She has been telling stories in schools, libraries and other venues since 1989. She served as librarian for Big Horn County Library for 10 years and as a teacher-librarian at Greybull Elementary/Middle School. She attended and participated in the National Storytelling Conference in 2013 and 2015. King is the the current Wyoming representative to the National Storytelling Network.

Jennisen Lucas, Powell

Jennisen Lucas became interested in storytelling while earning a master in library science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel. She took storytelling classes and participated in storytelling festivals and was a member of the North Carolina Storytelling.

Catherine Ringler, Powell

Catherine Ringler is a retired educator (33 years) with specialties in elementary, special education, writing and oral communications. She has taught writing workshops at the Clark (Wyoming) school and has told stories at the Cody Library for Literacy Nights, as well as the Leslie Masters Class in Powell. She has been published in numerous publications.

David Romtvedt, Buffalo

David Romtvedt, former Wyoming Poet Laureate (2003-2010), is a multi-talented musician and writer offering writing workshops in poetry, fiction and playwriting. He conducts programs on Wyoming’s literary history and communities, song writing, the interactions of music and literature, and ways that language and music are used by groups to defend their cultural integrity. David offers workshops on bookmaking and musical instrument building— flutes, drums, mbiras, and various percussion instruments. As a performer, he gives solo poetry readings and musical presentations. He also performs with his musical group, The Fireants.

Special Cameos

Echo Roy Klaproth, Shoshoni

Wyoming poet laureate 2013-2014. Fourth-generation Wyoming rancher, writer, retired teacher, ordained minister. Her writing reflects stories of her family’s heritage; struggles, gains and growth as a woman, wife, mother, friend and Christian as well as the blessings she experiences because she was born and raised in Wyoming among good and honest folks.

Miss V, the Gypsy Cowbelle, Thermopolis/Kirby

Miss V’s father taught her to play guitar on an old Sears Stella guitar. When she graduated with a history degree, she boarded a Greyhound bus and set out to discover America. She picked up the banjo walking across Portland, the washtub bass on the streets of New Orleans, and songs and styles everywhere. A four-month job in Wyoming caretaking at a remote ranch turned into a 15-year stay where she wrote, played music and began building distinctive “plank” banjos. She released her first CD in 2001, and her fifth in 2015. She has performed in 25 states for cowboy poetry events, folk festivals, school programs, county fairs and county jails.

Friends of the Library with Becky Hutson

Storytelling can take many different forms. We are going to read a story to you about life in a small western town at the turn of the last century.

The Hutson family will be enacting a chapter from the Great Brain series by John Fitzgerald. These are stories our family has read for two generations. We are not a professional group, but have entertaining in our blood. Great-grandpa was a traveling minstral. His love of music was passed down to his grandson Harold, who plays lead guitar and sings with the Prairie Grass band. Great-grandson Harold, Jr. plays bass for his church worship band. And the great-great-granddaughters have performed with the Missoula Children’s Theater. The families are also active in church and school choirs and plays. We hope you enjoy this presentation!