A celebration of the commercial fishing industry in poetry, prose and song, the FisherPoets Gathering has attracted fisherpoets and their many fans to Astoria, Oregon the last weekend of February since 1998.
Originally conceived as a modest cultural reunion for far-flung friends in the commercial fishing fleet, the FisherPoets Gathering now attracts nearly a hundred poets, songwriters and storytellers from both the west and east coasts’ commercial fishing communities. They gather in Astoria’s pubs, restaurants and galleries to read for each other and for the hundreds of fisherpoetry fans who come to hear the authentic, creative voices of deckhands and skippers, cannery workers and shipwrights, young greenhorns and old timers, strong women and good-looking men.
The FisherPoets Gathering has been featured in media both national and international from the NY Times, Smithsonian magazine, the Wall Street Journal, NBC to the BBC and others. The U.S. Library of Congress has recognized the FisherPoets Gathering as a “Local Legacy” project and the event has spawned a genre, “fisherpoetry,” that fans of occupational poetry might hear in towns like Kodiak, AK, New Bedford, MA, Port Townsend, WA and Camden, ME.
Fisherpoets perform music, poetry and prose Friday and Saturday evenings between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. at Astoria venues that include the Wet Dog Café, the Voodoo Room, the Astoria Event Center, Fort George Brewery’s Lovell Showroom, the Columbian Theater and KALA performance gallery.
In addition, the Gathering will include workshops Saturday morning at the Columbia River Maritime Museum on subjects as varied as ocean acidification, song writing and knot tying. Later that afternoon fisherpoets offer fans and each other their colorful oral histories at the popular Story Circle.
Look also for fisherpoet films at the Columbian Theater Friday and Saturday afternoons, open-mics at various venues and visual art by fisherpoets at galleries in town.
Coast Community Radio KMUN broadcasts fisherpoetry live both nights at 91.9 FM and on line at www.coastradio.org.
Event buttons good for admission all weekend are $15. Find them at all venues and at the FisherPoets Gathering Gearshack starting noon Friday.
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