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“O for a Muse of fire,
that would ascend
The brightest heaven
of invention,
A kingdom for a
stage, princes to act
And monarchs to
behold the swelling
-Willam Shakespeare
King Henry V



Born in Pratt City Alabama as Mary Elizabeth Washington, Orunamamu was raised on a variety of U. S. Army posts across North America. She was a Master School Teacher for 30 years in Wisconsin, Utah and California. She learned storytelling from her father, Master Sargent Smith Washington. From 1948 to 1952 she was a founding member and performer with the Milwaukee Voice speaking Choir, performing the poetry of James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes and other poets from the Harlem renaissance.

Upon her retirement Orunamamu began her storytelling career at the Woods Seminar at Los Trancos Woods in Palo Alto She has presented at various story telling festivals

which she attends annually. These include the National Association fo Black Storytelling where she is a story swap leader and the National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling which meets every year at Jones borough Tennessee. She is a 25 year veteran of the "Swapping Grounds.

From 1981 through 1988 she did her annual show “Yakkity Yak with Style”s at the Edmonton Fringe. She continues her peripatetic habit, attending the Black Storytelling festival and the national story tellers festival each year.

She is the Honorary Crone at the Northen Herbal Symposium of California which she attends every May and September in Laytonville California. In 2004 she was the resident storyteller at the Black History exhibit at Fort Calgary. She has previously appeared at Africadey and can be found every summer busking at Olympic Plaza and at various venues in West Hillhurst.

Check out a sample of her work.

2006 Calgary International Spoken Word Society