|Gladys Coggswell is a native of New Jersey where she was raised by her great-grandmother. She moved to Missouri in 1974 and has lived there ever since. Having inherited interest and talent in storytelling from her grandmother, she explored oral narratives in African American communities of Missouri. She travels nationally as well as abroad with her performances that are always full of humor and folk wisdom. Often, she incorporates songs into her stories. Her dynamic and entertaining stories, seminars, workshops and speeches have been frequently televised, recorded and written about by the media. Gladys Coggswell is one of the leading experts in the application of storytelling as a strategy of inner healing and violence prevention. She is a recipient of numerous awards, several times held the title of Missouri’s Master Folk Artist, and is the founder of “By Word of Mouth Storytelling Guild”, an organization of storytellers and story listeners who are united in an effort to preserve and perpetuate the great oral tradition of storytelling. A number of her stories are available on CDs and audio cassettes.