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Working on the Water event seeks female mariners to share experiences

Sep 25, 2019
Photo by: Sam Joy Working on the Water presenter Caitlin Trafton of Swan’s Island.

ROCKLAND — Folksinger Gordon Bok is hosting the tenth annual Working on the Water event in early November. This is a gathering of mariners who come together for an afternoon of sharing personal experiences and inspirations of their unique livelihoods through song, poetry and stories. Five presenters take the stage for 15 to 20 minutes each and entertain a paying audience. Past presenters have included fishermen/women, captains of all manner of vessels, members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Marine Patrol, and others.

This year organizers are especially interested in hearing from women who are quietly working on the water. Speakers must be currently making (or previously made) a living working on the water in some capacity, and all material must be original and presented orally. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. at the Sail, Power, and Steam Museum, 75 Mechanic St. Admission is $5 for adults, free for children younger than 12, and free admission for one guest per presenter.

The event is patterned after the Fisherpoets Gathering in Astoria, Ore. That event is in its fifteenth year and has expanded from six presenters at one venue on one night to more than 80 presenters at five different venues over the course of a three-day weekend. Organizers said Working on the Water has attracted larger audiences every year and has spawned a similar event in Portland called Voices of the Sea, sponsored by the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.

Interested people or those with questions can contact Kathy Pease at 236-2707 or by Oct. 18. A list of those who have been on stage in the past is at Bok’s website:

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