Our Secret Territory
The Essence of Storytelling
Our Secret Territory is a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards in the Performing Arts/Drama category!
Our Secret Territory is composed of revelations from the life of a world famous storyteller including extensive travel and projects spanning thirty years. It helps readers understand the power of storytelling as a profound and unique art form combining modern solo theater, spoken literature, spirituality, and direct oral tradition akin to ancient ritual. The book is shaped with stories and poems and a remarkable fairytale that weaves in and out of a life of experiences: rescuing ex-child soldiers from a devastating war; working with epic singers, Native American storytellers and Tibetan meditation masters; designing a playground; telling tales to Roma mothers and children; and saving a zoo in Northern Romania.
This is a unique combination of personal story, myth, memoir, and fairytales that will interest anyone involved in storytelling as performance; those using narrative in healing, business, or education; peacemakers and humanitarians; writers; anyone seeking a deeper spiritual practice; and those hoping to understand the psychology of personal memoir, myth and symbol, the importance of anthropology in our cultural life, and how communities are affected by the stories we tell.
Laura Simms, an internationally acclaimed performing artist, writer, educator and humanitarian, is engaged in individual and community transformation. Born in a Jewish family in Brooklyn, she later became a Buddhist, and performs in the tradition of great storytellers throughout the ages. She is the mother of Ishmael Beah, bestselling author of A Long Way Gone.
Laura Simms is an acclaimed storyteller whom The New York Times has called “a major force in the revival of storytelling in America.” Laura’s website is www.laurasimms.com.
What others have said about Our Secret Territory:
Story is a medicine. Laura Simms is a great medicine woman and Our Secret Territory is the means through which she works her magic for each of us and on behalf of the future.
Deena Metzger, author of Writing for Your Life
Laura Simms' generous voice leads us to our own compassionate presence. To read this book is to listen to the silence beyond words.
Stephen K. Levine, author of Trauma, Tragedy, Therapy: The Arts and Human Suffering
Laura Simms has given the world a rare gift. Our Secret Territory takes us deep into the mysterious heart of storytelling, and brings us back with new understanding about why and how stories frame and enrich our lives. Laura Simms is uniquely qualified to be the guide on this journey. From her own experience of tragedy, to her heart-opening experiences with child soldiers, indigenous people in many parts of the world, and an astonishing array of listeners and mentors, she has distilled a wisdom that, although difficult to attain, proves to be a simple and deeply satisfying gift for us to receive.
Dan Yashinsky, author of Suddenly They Heard Footsteps: Storytelling for the Twenty-First Century
This woman knows exactly what she is doing. She possesses a unique sense of self that beautifully couples with her exquisite ability to tell a tale.
A major force in the revival of storytelling in America.
The New York Times
Laura Simms has the power to create images that become mirrors reflecting the soul of the listener.
Kaye Lindauer, storyteller
Laura Simms is not the teller of stories. She IS, as the space she holds, The Robe of Love. Laura can fly and take you with her. She can, with flagrant confidence, take a risk, a holy act of sacrifice, leaving you suspended and waiting, while she reaches down to tie her shoe. Then, with an outrageous laugh she can return, delivering the story and your own soul with it. A soul you had not realized was in flight all along.
Jerry Wennstrom, author of The Inspired Heart