the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts

James McCoy
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  • Cambridge, MA
  • United States
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At 8:32pm on November 23, 2008, Mei-Lin Po said…
Hi James! thanks for coming :)
I forget, I think the info I was going to send you was about the storytelling course I've been taking this year and the organazation, Network of Biblical Storytellers, that sponsors it? here are the relevant links:

The course is taught ever OTHER year, alternating with the more advanced, master's level course. The person to contact if you are interested is Tracy Radosevic, you can email her at

I have also put you on the group list for our new local "chapter" of biblical tellers (we're still very new, haven't established regular meeting times etc yet, but you will be kept in the loop).

Glad you could be there! Mei-Lin
At 9:25am on November 15, 2008, Libby Franck said…
Hi James, I would like to get in touch with you. Could you send me your email? Mine is Looking forward to hearing from you.
At 9:07am on September 25, 2008, andrea lovett said…
Hi James,
Christian puts Br. Blue's events in . I have left your message in for Christian , as he put them in , he's the only one that can get in and change it. So... I am sure he will he's that kind a guy. Anyway you can yak with him about it. Unfortunately I can not go as I have my writer's group on Tuesday night which is why you rarely see me at Blue's I have to pay whether I go or not. So I usually go. Andrea
At 9:30am on August 20, 2008, James McCoy said…
Hi Andrea,

It's an older PC, an Empire of the Ants server.

I will try watching the Massmouth videos on my Mac, running OS Cricket.

At 9:51pm on August 19, 2008, andrea lovett said…
Hi James, Norah tells me you are having difficulty viewing the videos. Was wondering what type of computer you have? Is it new or older, a mac or pc? No one else ,that I know of is having trouble getting onto the videos . So let me know the answer to those questions and I will try and find out. If I can't I will ask the NING guys. ok? Andrea
At 4:04pm on August 14, 2008, Doria Hughes said…
Hi James,
Earlier today I finally finished converting and posting all of the different storytelling performances from this past Monday night at Tosci's, including yours - hooray! Check it out on my "videos" page.........
At 2:29pm on August 13, 2008, James McCoy said…
Feel sad about your dad, then heal:

It's not just a poem. It's a story.
At 7:21pm on August 12, 2008, Norah Dooley said…
Yeah ! Thanks it is so fine to be able to read again.
At 8:24am on August 12, 2008, James McCoy said…
Hi Norah,


Is here where I post text?

"What Have the Crickets Ever Done For Us?" is below:


By James McCoy

In wintertime the ant called 86
Was airing out the grains he had stored up
By his pains all summer long. A cricket
Accosted him, begging him for food to live.
“What were you doing,” the ant demanded
Quivering, “all summer long?” “I wasn’t
Slacking,” the cricket replied shivering,
“I was too busy singing.” The ant laughed:

“You sang away the summer: You
Can orchestrate the winter too.”

With that he tried to eighty-six him. But
The silly cricket stood on the anthill
Until he froze, and so the angry ant
Removed his heaps of grain down to the vault
Where, because he was a social insect,
He mustered all his mates and made it all
The cricket’s fault. “Fricking crickets,” he swore,
“They’ve bled us white. They’ve taken everything

We’ve had and, what really bothers,
Not just from us, but from our fathers.”

“I copy that,” said the ant called 10-4,
“And from our fathers’ fathers.” “Right on,” said
The angry ant, and so 10-4 went on:
“And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers.”
“Enough,” said 86, “give it a rest.”
But because we always resent the best
The ones we’ve hurt the most, he added,
“And what have the crickets ever done for us?”

But 9-2-5 replied (the jerk):
“They made us songs to smooth our work?”

And all the other ants cried: “That’s a fact!”
So 86 had to backtrack: “Oh. Yeah.
They did give us that.” But then a cute
Little number, 69, piped up: “And
The party music, for Harvest Home?” “Yeah!”
The ants affirmed. “Remember how we squirmed?
‘We can dance, if we want to, we can leave
Your ants behind, ‘cause your ants don’t dance and

If they don’t dance, well, they’re no ants of mine,’”
They sang along with 69.

“I’ll grant you,” the angry ant said, “that music
For work and play are two things they have done.
But it’s us that works so that they can play,
The parasites. But other than that, what –“
“The lullabies,” burst in 24-7,
“For type-A ants like me to sleep at night.”
“Well, yes, obviously the lullabies, I mean
The lullabies go without saying, don’t they?

But besides the songs for work and rest
And songs to soothe the savage breast,

What have the crickets ever made for us?”
“Birthday songs!” “Wedding marches!” “Elegies!”
“Okay. All right. Fair enough. But apart
From music for hatching and matching and
Being dispatched; apart from music for
Boozing and snoozing and being amused,
What have they given unto us?!” The ants
Afraid to say a word, a Voice was heard:

“The crickets gave you great good luck;
Without it now you’re just a schmuck.”

“Luck?!” the angry ant blasphemed, “I make my
Own luck!” But now the heart of every ant
Was full of fear imagining the year
Without a song. How would they ever get
Along? 9-2-5 labored sighing while
69 wouldn’t stop crying. 10-4
Was over and out while 24-7
Couldn’t sleep … without a lullaby.

When silence fell on them like bricks,
Of all the ants it was 86

Who first crawled from the vault. For after all
He had been the most afraid all along.
He scrambled from the anthill pole to find
The long-suffering cricket standing still
A public statue disfigured by snow.
The other ants arrived. In the insect
World, nothing is certain except for death
And trophallaxis. Down the axis of their world

They bore the Lord of the Dance on a bier,
Their hearts transfixed by joy and fear.

In the first, spinning place, while the cricket
Defrosted, 86 himself threw up.
The cricket said the grace, for food is love,
And ate. He burped, then chirped, and his song filled
The anthill from pole to pole. The cricket
Understood the ant from this communion,
While the ant ... would never get the cricket.
Instead, he fed him. The fearless ant laughed:

“You sang away the summer: You
Can orchestrate the winter too.”

12 August 2008
At 9:24pm on August 11, 2008, Norah Dooley said…
What have the crickets's ever done for us?
What indeed - a wonderful poem/story.
Fun and full of images and play and beautiful words - thanks!


Grand Prize for South Shore Grand Slam Story Slam generously donated by Nicolette Heavey and Stories In The Streets (A Maine Get Away)

Stories in the Streets in an outreach literacy program that focuses on families in at-risk areas and fosters community engagement in storytelling by: 1) Creating opportunities for public storytelling wherever families gather — a farmer’s market, laundromat, or food line; and, 2) Offering storytelling workshops that raise family engagement in literacy, cultural awareness and community understanding.  The program is currently active in Lawrence, Brockton and Randolph.


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