“Readers and listeners often ask if my stories are true. I typically joke back, ‘All my stories are true and some of them really happened.’ This is what I call the Politician’s Answer. It’s neither a lie nor the truth, but passes the time long enough for the focus to shift to a better topic.”
— by Mark Binder from It Ate My Sister
Mark Binder is the author of numerous award-winning books and CDs. As a writer, his work generally falls into three categories: original and traditional folk-style tales, the “Chelm” series of books and stories, and autobiographical whoppers and lies.
Mark’s latest book is Stories for Peace — resolving conflict / handling bullies, a collection for change. It includes stories and essays designed to ask questions and provoke answers.
In 2010, he released two new live spoken-word audio albums: A Holiday Present and It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (spooky comedy). His novel, The Brothers Schlemiel was recently published in a beautifully illustrated hardcover edition. It Ate My Sister, is a favorite book for youngsters ages 10 and up (and adults with a sense of humor). His collection, The Bed Time Story Book was written for caregivers to share with their children, and has sold more than 60,000 copies in a dozen editions.
“I write and tell stories for a living. No matter which genre I am working in, whether you are reading or listening, I hope that the stories cross boundaries and are universal in their appeal to people of all ages and cultures.”
Mark claims to have a degree in Mythology from Columbia University, where he studied storytelling with Spalding Gray. He is a graduate of the Trinity Rep Conservatory, earned a Masters degree in English and Theater, and has taught “Telling Lies” to college and high school students. For more than a decade, he has toured the United States sharing his books and spoken-word stories with audiences of all ages, flavors and varieties. He regularly performs in schools, and community centers, religious venues, theaters and festivals.
“Not long ago, I was at a meeting of artists and performers, all of whom were complaining. I looked around the room and considered what ‘worked’ for live events. The list included spectacle, huge crowds, food, multiple stages and so on, none of which I could provide. So, I asked myself, what is it that I do, that I can do, and that I want to do? The answer came back in an instant. I can transmit Joy. Joy is something that you can’t get over the internet. It’s not something that communicates in a film or television show. You only get Joy from other people. Before all my events, I set in my mind the intent that at some point during a show, I want everyone in the room to experience Joy. It may not even be the same moment, but I want them to walk away with that feeling. It’s been a major shift in the right direction.”
—Mark Binder in a conversation with Beth Hellman
Mark was born in Newton, MA, grew up in Bethesda, MD, has lived in New York, Cambridge and London and resides in Providence RI. In his spare time he bakes bread and makes pizza. He has three children, and is engaged to be married.
Works by Mark Binder include:
Stories for Peace (2011)
Matzah Mishugas (2009)
The Bed Time Story Book (2008)
It Ate My Sister (September, 2008)
The Brothers Schlemiel (April 2008)
A Hanukkah Present (*Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for Family Literature* 2007)
The Everything Bedtime Story Book (2001)
Crumbs Don’t Count — The Rationalization Diet (1994)
A Holiday Present
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…
Classic Stories for Boys and Girls (*Children’s Music Web and iParenting Media Awards)
Tall Tales, Whoppers and Lies
The Brothers Schlemiel from Birth to Bar Mitzvah (*Storytelling World Honor)
A Hanukkah Present
More than 200 stories published in magazines including Cricket, The Forward, The Family, Bostonia, Conjure, and Pizza Today .
Awards and Grants
Finalist/Runner-Up National Jewish Book Award for Family Literature
Storytelling World Honor Award
Children’s Music Web Award
iParenting Media Award
US Department of Education Grant to Train School Librarians
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Literature
RI Department of Education Innovative Project Grant