What's a Raconteur?


A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator

Poetry About Our Storytellers

Here are four poems our co-founder Olivia wrote about her experiences with or relationships to storytellers.



We are going to laugh until our sides hurt
We’ll probably cry
And I will know your earliest memory
Your first impression of the love of your life 
How you spent your first dollar But first things first My name is Olivia


Pirated Lessons
I learned the easy way
not to touch kerosene heaters
fall in love with sailors on the train 
or fear failure. 
I learned the secret to staying married 70 years,
how to make 7-up cake,
and that you never know what you’ve got 
until it’s too late.
I learned how to build a boiler scrubber, 
to run for office,
to teach home economics,
to survive a helicopter crash in the South China Sea,
and make magical memories by
doing seemingly small things with my children.
How to
fly a plane, 
mine for gold,
build ships in Spain,
and surprise your wife with an adopted baby 
in her bedside table drawer.
How to commit myself to my dreams,
give true gifts without strings attached,
and trust I am where I was meant to be all along.
All lessons,
however impractical or practical,
copied and kept for later. 


What You Are
For Dr. Fisher

you are the kind of thing they don’t make like they used to
unbreakable, sturdy, dependable

you are a yellow rose
a tiny rainbow caught up in the windowpane
a night when the sky is alight with stars

you are one of those little things in life
that make it pretty, delightful, worthwhile

you are a quiet lake nestled among mountains
where fishermen steal away, 
children go to play
there is no current
just sunlight glinting on still water
and peace

you are hot chocolate at Christmas time
the voice of the person you love most
a hammock in the shade
soothing, familiar, safe

you are the hand of a parent pulling you inside
when you’re small and afraid of what lies
beyond the front yard pickets

and you are
a heavy, overflowing bucket of wisdom
I could not carry home from the well if I tried

For Mr. Don

The photographer ever searching
For the honeybee, the waterfall, the dewy rose
To capture life suddenly stilled
Distilled to the grandest of miniscule, vital details
You would traverse Yellow Mountain in search of a rock
Or risk your life approaching a Grizzly bear
If only you can get close enough
To capture the curve of his fur, drool on his snout
Even if you get mauled to death trying
Isn’t the picture worth the strife?

And so you understand
The writer ever searching for the muse
For the right words begging to seep onto the page
You are my honeybee, my waterfall, my dewy rose
And I would stay up haunted all night
Surrounded by pages of the grandest of minuscule, vital details
Shards of memory in need of piecing together
Into a mosaic of a memoir
If only I can get close enough
To pirate another’s highs and heartaches
Even if I’m maimed by bearing your burdens
Isn’t the story worth the strife?

Contact Raconteur

The subject(s) of the book will communicate their story to a writer
The subject(s) of the book has passed away and other loved ones will relay their story to the writer
The subject(s) of the book has written pieces of their life story, but needs a writer to add to and refine the work for publication

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