The Moth is a non-profit group based in New York City dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. It was founded in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green, who wanted to recreate the feeling of sultry summer evenings in his native Georgia, when moths were attracted to the light on the porch where he and his friends would gather to spin spellbinding tales. George and his original group of storytellers called themselves "The Moths", and George took the name with him to New York. The organization now runs a number of different storytelling events in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and other American cities, often featuring prominent literary and cultural personalities. Previous notable storytellers have included Andy Borowitz, Margaret Cho, Joe Lockhart, Jonathan Ames, Ethan Hawke, Malcolm Gladwell, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, George Plimpton, Al Sharpton, Gay Talese, Mira Nair, Moby, Lili Taylor, Joan Juliet Buck, and Sam Shepard.
The organization also holds "StorySLAM" events, storytelling competitions open to everyone in New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Louisville, Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, Cambridge, and Los Angeles. The format was inspired by and is similar to poetry slams. Although hosts rotate, New York City StorySLAM hosts include David Crabb, who hosts the last Monday night of every month at The Bitter End; Dan Kennedy, who hosts the second Tuesday of the month at the Housing Works Bookstore & Cafe; Ophira Eisenberg who hosts the third Thursday of the month at Housing Works Bookstore & Cafe; and Peter Aguero who hosts the first Monday of the month at The Bell House in Brooklyn.
The Moth also runs an Education and Community Program that offers storytelling workshops free of charge to high school students and adult communities. In 2012 The Moth launched the High School Slam program, which brings Story SLAMs to public high schools in New York City. They currently hold slams at 6 high schools in 3 boroughs.
The Moth offers a weekly podcast, which provides free audio of stories from all types of Moth events. The podcast has over 70,000 subscribers and averages over 1 million downloads a month. In August 2009, the organization also launched a national public radio show, The Moth Radio Hour, produced by Jay Allison and distributed by Public Radio Exchange. In the fall of 2009 The Moth Radio Hour was licensed by more than 200 public radio stations and won the Peabody Award in 2011.
The organization's annual fundraising event is called the Moth Ball, where the annual Moth award is presented. The 2008 Moth Award was presented to Salman Rushdie. The 2010 Moth Award went to Calvin Trillin.
- Brocklehurst, Steven (21 August 2009). "The Moth flies in to tell stories". BBC Scotland news. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- Buchanan, Leigh (October 2013). "Both Simple And True: The Secrets of Effective Storytelling". Inc. (New York: Mansueto Ventures).
- The Moth Official Website
- Joan Juliet Buck, T: New York Times style magazine, Sept. 23, 2012
- Travis R. Wright, Detroit Metro Times, Oct. 28, 2009
- Alex Williams, New York Times, August 14, 2009
- "Songs of Themselves" New York Times, November 14, 2008
- The Moth: Stories About Loss at LIVE from the New York Public Library October 12, 2007.
- Catherine Burns - Artistic Director of The Moth Audio interview on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf Show.