Charles David (“Chuck”) Kleymeyer is an award-winning author and an applied sociologist with a lifetime of experience serving organizations and communities of low-income Indians, Blacks, and Criollos throughout the Americas. His professional publications include five books and more than 30 articles, and he has published short stories and poetry in a number of periodicals. After a Fulbright Fellowship in an indigenous artisan town in highland Ecuador, he published a trilingual collection of documentary short stories – in Spanish, Quechua, and English. His work has also appeared in Portuguese, German, and French. Over the past decade, he has published six short stories from the current novel in manuscript (see “Publications” and “Selected Stories”). In 2010 he was a nominee for the Indiana Authors Award, given to Hoosier writers, regardless of residence. In 2011 his short story, “Away in a Manger: A Quaker Midrash” – an adaptation of a chapter from YESHU – was given an Award of Merit for a Seasonal Article, by the Associated Church Press. In 2015, he received the same award for a story about the Christmas truce in WWI entitled, “Silent Night, 1914.”
Chuck received a B.A. degree from Stanford University, completing a major in the Creative Writing Program, where he studied under Wallace Stegner. He then served in the Peace Corps in highland Peru, and subsequently earned an M.S. in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Development Studies, both from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He then launched a career in international grassroots support and assistance that is still ongoing. For nearly 50 years Chuck has been a performing storyteller at folk festivals, living-room gatherings, campfires, churches and religious retreats, and Indian reservations. This avocation has further shaped his narrative voice, while his cross-cultural, international development work has molded his philosophical and ethical outlook. The life lessons and oral history techniques taught to him by Indians and Blacks throughout the Americas have informed his vision of the teaching style and humanistic practices of the historical Jesus and other New Testament figures. These lessons of love, pacifist action, compassionate service, forgiveness, and care for the environment have been amplified by his long-time spiritual commitment to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
Chuck is the father of two adult children and a teenager – all of whom have served as fiction editors for his novel and other projects. Over the years, they have dutifully appreciated his storytelling, word games, and knock-knock jokes, especially at the family’s cabin in the Minnesota Boundary Waters, and larger-than-life treehouse in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Chuck also visits classrooms and libraries to present a self-scripted performance – in first person and authentic costume – of Abraham Lincoln telling stories of his childhood in Indiana and how it impacted him as a grown man and a president.
Chuck Kleymeyer has told stories on radio and television and has given lectures (subsequently published) at Harvard and Princeton Universities, the World Bank, the Smithsonian Institution, the Ford Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund. Actively engaged in promoting YESHU, he is on Facebook, Twitter and radio podcasts.