Friday, February 22, 2013

16th Annual Fisher Poets Gathering, Astoria Oregon

I made it!  We made it! We all made it.  The snow in Denver subsided just long enough for me to catch my flight to Portland, Oregon for my third year at Fisher Poets.  At the Portland airport, I met up with fellow Fisher Poets Ron McDaniel and Steve Schoonmaker.  I asked Steve if he was ready for this opener, this weekend of song, celebration, and drink sometimes feels like a fishing opener.  As soon as we cast our first story, its three days of no sleep, just go, go, go.

This year is our second year making the now annual pilgramage  from Portland to Astoria together.  It started with Steve and I talking about carpooling last year.   Then I saw an add on Facebook that the Cowboy needed a lift.  Ron, Fisher Poet's token Cowboy, was going to hitchhike the hour and half journey, but his wife was afraid that someone would pick him up just to steal his leather boots and toss him aside.  With that, our little tradition of splitting the fuel and catching up along the way was born.
Ron and Jen's work boots.
Astoria's local paper, The Astorian, generously  printed out this years schedule in the Thursday's edition of coast Weekend. Also HIPFISHmonthy, Astoria's local alternative paper featured FPs on their cover.

HIPFISHmonthy's cover

Camaraderie out the Wazoo
I love that, "Camaraderie out the Wazoo!" Camaraderie is defined as "a spirit of friendly good fellowship". That really sums up the heart of this event and why I love it so much.  For me, its not getting up on stage and performing my poems, that isn't fun, that's terrifying.  But I do it to belong this specific group of fishermen, fishermen who write.   They seem understand my poems because they have all, at one time or another, lived them too.  And I, theirs.  You can see it on their faces, from the grimace at the mention of jellyfish in the eye, to the nod of recognition of bring in a deckload.  We have all had our own triumphs and tregedies on the sea, some bigger than others.  And to be with a group of folks like that all weekend is like coming home.

 Pat Dixon goofing off with Ron's hat last night at the welcome dinner.

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