About Richard

Ourense, Galicia, March 2003

Photo by Iain Colquhoun

I tell Irish, Spanish, Basque and world legends and folk tales in schools and other venues in Ireland and anywhere they’ll have me around the world, especially Spain, the Basque Country and the USA.

I was a featured teller at the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Festival, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 2008, and at the Los Angeles fest in 2009. I go to Spain at least once a year to tell in English, mostly to students of English in Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas (official language schools) — I’ve been to over 50 so far, some more than once.

How is a bardic storyteller different from any other kind? When Odds Bodkin and I shared a stage as featured tellers at the 2008 Lehigh Valley Festival, I fortunately was on before him. He is dynamic, powerful, high energy. I’m low-key and matter-of-fact. That evening I did a 45-minute set of Fionn mac Cumhaill stories. As Odds took the stage, he commented positively on my “bardic storytelling”. I liked the sound of that, which I took to mean my emphasis on the really old legends that were regarded as largely factual when they were first told hundreds of years ago. So I adopted that description.

Books:

Au Pair in Ireland (non-fiction), 1996; second edition 2004 (ebook)

The Legends and Lands of Ireland (traditional stories), 2004

Tales of the Wicklow Hills (non-fiction), 2007

English Like It Is: Right, Wrong and Changing Usage (non-fiction), ebook 2009, updated 2014

Utmost Magpie (fiction), ebook 2009

These Things Happen (inspirational radio and magazine articles), ebook 2010

Spanish and Basque Legends (traditional stories), 2010

The Key Bearer Saga, ebooks: Earn Fire (2011) and The Shore of Two Worlds (2012) are the first two volumes of the trilogy.

Irish King and Hero Tales (traditional stories), 2011
(German edition Irische Königs- und Heldensagen 2014)

The Secrets of Storytelling (translator) – (Los Secretos del Cuentacuentos by Beatriz Montero), 2012

Once a Hero (novel in the form of a screenplay), 2012

A Blirt to the End and Other Stories (ebook, 13 short stories), 2012

Over the Wall to the Trinity Ball and other poems (ebook, 34 poems), 2012

Meath Folk Tales (print), Meath Folk Tales (ebook), The History Press Ireland, 2013

CDs:

Saints and Gore and Fairy Lore – Irish and Basque myth and legend

The Tower of Breogán and Other Tales from Ireland and Spain

Details on storytelling and CDs

Details on Legendary Books

Details on Mazgeen Press


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9 Responses to About Richard

  1. Andoni says:

    Hi Richard I’m Andoni from Donostia-basque country. I will be in Dublin for the next week, unfortunately until the 29-april, so I will not be able to listen to you the first-May.
    But don’t worry, I’ll try it sooner or later.

  2. Hi, Andoni. Maybe we’ll meet in the Basque Country next time I’m invited to an Escuela Oficial de Idiomas there. Those are the venues I usually tell at in Spain and Euskadi. I’ve been to more than 50, including Getxo, Bilbao, Las Arenas, Barakaldo, Donostia, Pamplona in the Basque Country.

  3. Lauren Kent says:

    Hi Richard! I want to follow your blog, so that I get email updates when you post something new, how do I do it? And if you have a free moment then do go to my blog africanstorygatherer.blogspot.com or find my group on Face Book (yes, alas, I have advertised myself on there!) called Documenting the Intangible.

    And then you can contribute to my research, and I would value your comments on my points that I make etc etc etc

    • Hi and welcome, Lauren. I’ve never subscribed to a blog. Maybe if you tick the “Notify me of site updates” thingy below this, you will get an email when I add something. Let me know if that works.

  4. About Andoni’s post above: it turns out he works for Radio Euskadi (Basque Country), and he recorded an interview with me about Spanish and Basque Legends that was broadcast a week or so ago.

  5. Cristobo says:

    Hi, Mr Marsh, I have been researching for some time on the connections between myths from Ireland and the Bay of Biscay. I think if you download the following PDF file you might find it interesting. It deals with the relation between our faeries (that we call Xanas or Mouras) and Irish sovereignty goddesses:
    http://www.2shared.com/document/qhSxhjJr/The_Widower_and_the_Goddess.html
    I hope you enjoy it!
    Regards
    Cristobo

    • Fine work, Cristobo. Asturians and Galicians are much more aware of their links to Ireland than the Irish are. I hope to publish a book of Galician legends and tales, in which I’ll include Asturian, since many of the traditions are similar. When I was in Santiago in March, an Asturian gaitista gave me a copy of La Cultura Popular Asturiana, by Xuan Xosé Sánchez Vicente, and I have Mitología de Asturias y Cantabria Entre los Ríos Sella y Nansa, by Ramón Sordo Sotres, along with many collections of Galician stories. I’ll be telling Irish and Spanish stories at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas in Miranda de Ebro on 8 March on my coming tour in Spain. Perhaps I’ll have time to do some research in Asturias and Galicia then.

  6. jody adams says:

    Richard, this is Jody Adams from the poetry group in Key West. I continued the poetry group you started at the Guild Hall until I left there in 1998. I now teach students with disabilities in Lakeland Fl where i grew up.There is not much interest in poetry here ,not like it used to be in Key West. I write when i get inspired but don’t have that outlet for performing poetry like Key West. I recently wrote some poetry for my 50th high school reunion and read at the reunion. One was called “Never is Now” and is about the impossibility of the passage of half a century. I recently had an article published Backwoods Magazine about my wife Judy’s and my travels on the Flea Market circuit. Judy and i are planning to come to Ireland this summer on vacation, probably in June and hope to see you.Email me.

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