Fisher Poets

January 16, 2010 By: Marshall Cutchin

Astoria, Oregon

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Lewiston, Montana and Elko, Nevada may have their annual cowboy poetry gatherings, but Astoria, Oregon has been holding a Fisher Poets Gathering for twelve years running.
It’s an annual event held on the last weekend of February in Astoria, Oregon, where men and women somehow tied to the fishing industry get together to share their poems, tales, and songs in celebration of the lifestyle and its people. Begun in 1998 with a few far-flung friends meeting in a pub, FPG has greatly expanded and now attracts around 60-70 artists and hundreds of audience members. It has been featured on the Today Show and in Smithsonian Magazine, and is the subject of a documentary film by Jen Winston, called “Fisher Poets.” (Creative Commons)
What is a fisher poet? First off, it appears, they don’t much like the idea of being called fisher poets. Dave Densmore, 63, of Knappa: “I’m not a fisher poet. I’m a fishermen and a poet. I own three boats and I’m an active commercial fisherman. Poetry is a way for me to speak out.” Larry Bingham in The Oregonian.

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