The Rain Suggested Poems: An Interview with Nick Hennessey

Interview with storyteller Nick Hennessey.

The Oxford Culture Review

Nick Hennessey is a professional storyteller and musician, and winner of the 2000 World Championship in epic singing with his performance of the Kalevala (the Finnish national epic). I spoke to him about interpreting the Kalevala, the relationship between landscape and stories, and what makes storytelling so uniquely compelling as an art form.

What first drew you to storytelling?

I grew up in Alderley Edge, South Manchester, in the shadow of a hill about which there is a legend. And I grew up in the shadow of Alan Garner and his first book The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. In its opening pages, it had in it the legend of this hill, and so from a very young age I felt that landscape and stories were basically connected, and we only know a place by knowing its stories. That was the only traditional ‘story’ I ever knew – nobody told me stories as…

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