A CD by Adam Booth, adjunct faculty member at Shepherd University and professional storyteller, has been juried into Tamarack in Beckley.
"Mingo Black" is a collection of four original stories by Booth that reflect his Appalachian heritage and upbringing. Three are his creation, and the fourth is a family story that has been passed down seven generations.
"It's pretty incredible for me because I have been working a long time to get to this point," Booth said. "I've been telling stories in this capacity for 10 or 11 years."
Two of the stories have won the West Virginia Liars Contest and another he told at the National Storytelling Festival.
Booth said the CD is suitable for all ages and describes it as family stories and tall tales. The title comes from the CD's story about an heirloom apple.
"I wanted my siblings to be able to play it for their kids, and at the same time I wanted my grandparents to be able to enjoy it," he said.
Having grown up in a family of storytellers and after taking an Appalachian culture class as an undergraduate student at Shepherd, Booth decided he could tell stories and began competing, winning the Liars Contest three times and placing six.
"It just led to the world of professional storytelling from there," he said. "I tell tall tales. A lot of local flavor, but not necessarily true local flavor."
Getting statewide recognition is meaningful to Booth, he said, because he considers himself an Appalachian storyteller and wants to be recognized for having a quality product from Appalachia.
"A lot of people would say that the culture was trapped in the mountains and outsiders would say that trapped would be a negative term, but insiders would say that it's a positive term," he said.
Booth had the CD produced locally, and its artwork designed by Kristian Dela Cruz, a senior at Shepherd studying graphic design.
Tamarack, the nation's first statewide collection of handmade crafts, arts, and cuisine, which showcases the best of West Virginia, has had over 7 million visitors since its opening in 1994.
For more information visit www.adam-booth.com.