March 23, 2017  

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Coleen Salley Storytelling Session to feature Tim Tingle April 6

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The Coleen Salley Storytelling Session at the 2016 Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival will feature Tim Tingle, an Oklahoma Choctaw and award-winning author and storyteller. The free storytelling session will be held Wednesday, April 6 in The University of Southern Mississippi’s Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms on the Hattiesburg campus from 7:30-8:30 p.m., and is open to the public.

Tingle’s great-great grandfather, John Carnes, walked the Trail of Tears in 1835, and his paternal grandmother attended a series of rigorous Indian boarding schools in the early 1900s. In 1993, Tingle retraced the Trail of Tears to Choctaw homelands in Mississippi, and began recording stories of tribal elders.

He was a featured author and speaker at the 2014 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., based on critical acclaim for How I Became a Ghost, which won the 2014 American Indian Youth Literature Award. The second book in the series, When A Ghost Talks, Listen is expected to be released in spring 2016.

Tingle’s first children’s book, Crossing Bok Chitto, garnered more than 20 state and national awards, and was an Editor’s Choice in the New York Times Book Review. In June of 2011, Tingle spoke at the Library of Congress and presented his first performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In February of 2016, his novel House of Purple Cedar won the American Indian Youth Literature Award.

Tingle received his master’s degree in English literature at the University of Oklahoma in 2003, with a focus on American Indian studies. While teaching writing courses and completing his thesis, “Choctaw Oral Literature,” Tingle wrote his first book, Walking the Choctaw Road. It was selected as Book of the Year in both Oklahoma and Alaska.

As a visiting author and performer, Tingle reaches audiences numbering more than 200,000 annually. He has completed eight speaking tours for the U.S. Department of Defense, performing stories to children of military personnel stationed in Germany.

The Coleen Salley Storytelling Award was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Children's Book Festival supporter, storyteller, and children's literature advocate Coleen Salley. For more information about Tim Tingle, visit http://www.timtingle.com/. Learn more about the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at http://www.usm.edu/childrens-book-festival.