Wil Roach is a Sydney-based storyteller, writer, poet and performer originally from the UK, who has written a memoir of his early life.
You can visit Wil’s website at www.storysage.net
I came from a family (parents, aunts, uncles) of storytellers, writers and poets. To write that sentence now when most of them have transitioned, and still surprises me as I didn’t recognise, understand or appreciate the richness of the experience but didn’t forget. Throughout my formative years there were practical instances of creative richness, such as my mother’s slow murmur when singing hymns, or my father telling by showing an crucial event in his life, or both of them reciting English poetry in the kitchen of our London home. The inference was always there and was obvious for anyone who had eyes to see a creative process unfolding every day, though it wasn’t deemed necessary to comment or praise the story giver, as it came with our ancestral lineage.
If it were not for my parents and our ancestors what would there be for me to explore and share?
In fact both of my parents were prolific writers at certain times in their lives and particularly (my mother) as diarists, which lured me to the importance of an economy of words, my mother crammed her thoughts into the smallest of space in a pocket book diary; and Dad had his diary of dreams and frustrations placed in his expansive handwriting taking up as much space as was available to him. What an interesting contrast!
I mention all of this because my style of expression in performance, conversation and written word, very much reflects my childhood attunement to my parents’ powerful values, voices and tradition of oral storytelling, with me as a youngster at home, trying ever so hard to understand the meaning of silences between them, interspersed with laughter and paragraphs of words flowing the like Caura river near their home in the north of the island, prone to flood and drought, showing their flashes of angry disagreement to my horror and then an affectionate kiss and make up.
These colourful, enigmatic Caribbean rich textures, layers and tastes were placed on an unforgiving London cityscape and unwittingly helped on my journey to give voice to my stories and life as a creative writer and performer.
Go to my website www.storysage.net to find out more.