An Interview With Ashley Bryan

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Synopsis

Ashley Bryan is an eclectic artist who uses painting, poetry, music, collage, and prose to tell stories. Bryan fuses these seemingly separate art forms within his books for children. "I try not to accept walls and boundaries and definitions in a strict way," he says. "I would hope that everything I do is interrelated." Bryan is known for retelling African folktales in a distinct, rhythmic prose that is heavily influenced by African-American poetry. In 1981, his collection of Nigerian folktales, Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum, received the Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award. In 2012, Bryan was awarded the Coretta Scott King — Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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