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Joyce’s storytelling career began nearly 25 years ago when she shared a favorite Russian folk tale with her son’s third grade class. Since then she has told her stories in a number of venues besides American (and Costa Rican) schools and libraries: festivals, concerts, story slams, churches, parks, coffee houses, retirement homes, and, once, with passengers in a car that had pulled over to wait for an Arizona dust storm to run its course. The kinds of stories she tells mirror the same wide-ranging variety, from personal tales that are based on her own experience to folk tales that capture the wisdom of generations of entire peoples.

Her book, The Rhyme and Rhythm of Childhood, features stories inspired by childhood memories that family and friends have shared with her. Set mostly in North Florida, these stories reflect and honor the culture into which she was born. Formal studies in Romance and Slavic languages and literatures, however, as well as extended periods of living abroad, have ensured her deep appreciation for traditions different from her own, wherever they are encountered. She holds Native American folk tales, for example, in highest regard.

Joyce holds a Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures and is a retired college educator in the fields of her formal academic training as well as in the art of storytelling.


A storyteller at the White Tank Mountain Regional Park in the Phoenix area, she currently writes and shares stories about the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert.

To Hear Joyce Tell and sample her stories.