A celebration of the commercial fishing industry in poetry, prose and song.
The 2024 FisherPoets Gathering February 23-25, 2024
~poster design by Rachel Speakman
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. Click here to read more about this history of our event.
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 Astoria Brewing Co. (formerly the Wet Dog Café), the Ten-Fifteen Theater, Fort George Brewery, the Columbian Theater, KALA performance gallery, Xanadu (formerly the Voodoo Room) and the Liberty Theatre.
In addition, the Gathering includes workshops Friday afternoon and Saturday at studios and venues around town including Astoria's Astor Library and Pier 39 on subjects as varied as fish print making, perfecting writing and performing, protecting river watersheds, and practicing knot tying, line splicing and more. Lots more. Later Saturday afternoon fisherpoets celebrate the works of fisherpoets passed at the now annual Campbell's Last Set.
Look also for singing circles and open-mics at WineKraft and visual art by fisherpoets at galleries in town.
Want to Attend?
Event buttons good for admission all weekend are $20 or $10 after 8 p.m. Saturday night, available at the door. Find them also at venues and businesses the week of the Gathering and at the FisherPoets Gathering Gearshack starting noon Friday. Here is more info on the event, and on Astoria, Oregon.
Want to Volunteer?
Four days. Six or eight venues. A gearshack. A thousand fisherpoetfans. Volunteers are the grease in our gears. We need dozens of them to run the Gearshack, to watch the doors, to direct the fans.
Want to Participate as a FisherPoet?
New voices and reluctant ones are especially welcome. Just send us a brief commercial fishing bio and a sample of your stuff. Anyone who’s ever earned a share on a commercial fishing boat, a wage in a boatyard or a salary in a fish plant can join us. More info on how and what to submit here.
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