Coming Soon: Fisher Poets 2012!

8 02 2012

Hey, you guys – it’s almost time for the Fisher Poets Gathering!

Not familiar with FPG? Every February, men and women connected to the fishing industry flood into Astoria, Oregon, to share poems, songs, memoir, and visual art in celebration of this unique livelihood. People come from around the country to take part in this event (from around the globe, in fact: one of this year’s FisherPoets is from Japan) Now in their 15th year, more than 70 artists will be performing this February 24-26.

(Having a hard time imagining a fisherman/woman poet? Veteran FisherPoet and photographer Pat Dixon put together this gorgeous site of past performers and their work.)

Fishin’ folks, writers, storytellers, nestled into bars and restaurants in a seaside town… Some of my favorite things, right there.  So it’s more than a little shameful that I’ve never been to a FPG. Astoria is only about 5 hours south of Bellingham, but somehow, the timing just never worked out. I’ve been a long-distance, wanna-be groupie for an embarrassing number of years now, swooning over various highliner performers from afar. (Yes, I’m lookin’ at you two, Moe Bowstern and Jen Pickett!)

But no more! When, at the end of last season, Cap’n J and I discussed our winter goals, I announced, “I want to finally make it to Fisher Poets this February.” He’s always game for a road trip, especially to the Oregon Coast. (One of his favorite photography destinations, as you can see here.) And just like that, the room’s rented, we’re going, and I’m a quivery mess of excitement.

That quivery mess? Not just about excitement, but nerves, too. As it turns out, sweet readers, this won’t just be my first time in the Fisher Poets audience, but on the stage, too. The organizers generously gave this greenhorn two slots on the schedule (7 pm Friday at the Baked Alaska, and 9 pm Saturday at the Fort George Showroom. Just, you know, if you’re in the area and wanted to stop by.) I’m grateful to be on board, and am eager to learn from the pros.

Between the thrill of hearing some of my FisherPoet idols in person, and the anxiety of filling my 15 minute slots with worthy pieces, I expect the weekend will fly by in a blur of shanties and salt-tinged stories. I can’t wait.

If you’re within range and looking for a fantastic weekend, please join us in Astoria, February 24-26. All of the information is here – admission, scheduling, etc. Info on lodging in Astoria is here. Can’t make it and want to enjoy vicariously? NPR-affiliate KMUN 91.9 FM will be livestreaming the Astoria Events Center performances on Friday and Saturday nights, beginning at 6 pm. Wherever you are, you can listen here.

 

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20 responses

8 02 2012
fish*wine*ski

So great that you are going. I have never been. Someday…
Break a leg!

9 02 2012
jen

Check out the awesome DVD at http://www.fisherpoets.com. Bonus material is excellent.

12 02 2012
Tele

Oh, many thanks for commenting and including this link, Jen! That was a big oversight on my part; I haven’t seen the film yet, but have heard wonderful reviews and have had it on my list for some time. Looking forward to it!

8 02 2012
fishingblues

I’m so excited for you! And jealous too, I’ve always wanted to go but never have, despite living in Astoria a few years ago. Have fun! I can’t wait to hear how it went (and see some video maybe?).
-Robin

12 02 2012
Tele

Oh, video… That’s a brave idea! Hmm.

Thanks, Robin – I know the feeling; I’ve been terribly envious of FPG attendees for the past several years! I’ll bring you a full report. And check out that live-streaming; they’ll be broadcasting the super-highliners reading from the Astoria Events Center. It’ll be like you’re there, but without the too-tall person sitting in front of you. :)

8 02 2012
Jessie

Aaaaargh! I ship off to Sitka for Bairdi crab season on Monday. Perhaps I’ll make it back in the interlude between crab and herring. If so, I will be there!

8 02 2012
Tele

Look at you with your fishin’ talk – how embarrassed am I that I had to google Bairdi? :) Yeah, you were one of the yet-unmet buddies I was thinking of with this post, Jessie – sounds SO up your alley! If you make it back down, send me a note, and if not, I’ll give you a full report. Meanwhile, safe travels back to work. Give Sitka my love!

9 02 2012
Jessie

To be fair, I think their trade name is Tanner crab and they may be sold lumped in with Opilio as snow crab in restaurants down here. They are damn good though. They’re much bigger and meatier than Dungeys, not nearly as pricey as Kings, and the meat is still sweet and tasty. Keep an eye out for them in the markets in March as they should be fresh at that point.
I have written Fisher Poets into my planner, so I won’t forget. Now I just have to teach the crabbies how to comply with my schedule. They’re very stubborn that way.
And I forgot to write this in my first comment, but good luck! I’m sure it will be one hell of a weekend.

9 02 2012
Linda Rudick

Best wishes on a beautiful experience both for you as audience member and for the audience as you present. You’re a lovely storyteller and all should enjoy. Congrats on scoring this opportunity to share.

12 02 2012
Tele

Many thanks, Linda! There will surely be a report afterwards…

10 02 2012
Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Best of luck! I would come if I were in town!

12 02 2012
Tele

Thanks, Jodi!

10 02 2012
Cindy

Enjoy and good luck. They are lucky to have you there!

12 02 2012
Tele

Aw, thanks, Cindy! I definitely feel very lucky to be going.

10 02 2012
Cami Ostman

I’m so psyched for you, Tele. I wish, wish, wish I could be there to hoot and holler (or snap my fingers in the air–whichever seemed most appropriate for the crowd) when you get up on stage. Make sure Joel gets pics of your debut. Break a leg, my friend!

15 02 2012
Tele

You’re the best cheerleader, Cami! Thanks so much, and meanwhile, I’m sending great thoughts to your Arizona run this weekend. Pics and reports all around!

14 02 2012
Jen

Can’t wait to meet you after reading your blog for all this time! I think the schedule works out that I can catch your act. Will you be at Clement’s Thurs night? If so, I’ll see you there!

17 02 2012
Tele

Ditto, Jen! Yes, Cap’n J and I will see you at Clement’s – super excited!

17 02 2012
Janna Jacobson

Wow Tele – we’re so excited for you!! We’ll try to catch the stream on the Astoria NPR station – will you be on both nights? Awesome!!

17 02 2012
Tele

Thanks, Janna! Definitely do try to tune in if you two are kicking around home on the weekend. You won’t catch my shaky voice – I’m not on the main stage – but you will hear some awesome writers, poets and musicians who are veteran performers.




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