Glenn Harper was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, and moved to Connecticut in 1996. He grew up listening to his mother reading stories, and enjoying Appalachian tales told during the yearly Vandalia Festival that took place in his home town. His first real turn as a storyteller came at that same festival when he was an eighth grader. On the spur of the moment, he decided to participate in the Liar’s Contest by telling a “shaggy dog” story he’d learned in camp.
It wasn’t until years later, however, that Glenn’s wife, Amy Lilien-Harper, suggested that he might enjoy listening to stories at the meetings of the local story sharing group. After several months of listening, Amy was again a driving force behind Glenn finally deciding to try his hand at telling in front of the group. He now writes many of his own stories, be they modern fairly tales, new ghost stories or his particular specialty, hilarious tales of misadventure, often set in small rural communities. Glenn also enjoys art, photography, ballroom dancing, and especially playing with his two daughters. (And by the way, that picture in the background is a picture he took of his older daughter when she was two.)
“My first loves as a child were actually science and art. Despite the fact that I always loved listening to stories, growing up I never really saw myself actively participating in storytelling. But I guess I’m too much of a ham to just sit on the sidelines! Now I really love it. I love getting a great response from the audience and knowing that I’m part of a long and wonderful oral tradition. When a story really comes alive, it is such a special experience for everyone involved. As a teller I enjoy that moment as much as the audience does. Stories are such a strong connection to our past and our heritage, and a treasure that can be passed on from generation to generation.”