Fisher Poets celebrate

Jay Speakman and Jon Broderick of the FisherPoets Gathering. The gathering won a grant from the Clatsop County Cultural Coalition.

Fisherpoets from the North Coast will read and sing original poems and songs 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Cannon Beach Library.

Featured will be Jon Broderick, Dave Densmore, Geno Leech, Rob Seitz and Jay Speakman. Their readings are part of the library’s Northwest Author Series. The event is free.

All the poets are regular presenters at the annual FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria. This year’s gathering will be Feb. 22 to 24.

Commercial fishermen Jon Broderick, of Cannon Beach, and Jay Speakman, of Gearhart, started the FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria in 1998. The small gathering has grown to include nearly 70 poets who write about their lives and observations as fishermen and women Those appearing at the Cannon Beach Library on Jan. 17 are experienced in both the art of fishing and writing.

Dave Densmore purchased his own commercial fishing boat in Alaska at age 13. He survived four nights adrift on the Bering Sea in the snow after a boat he was running caught fire and the life raft he and his crew were on was run down by a Japanese trawler. Densmore and his wife, Pat, live in Astoria, where he continues to fish.

Geno Leech, of Chinook, Washington, began writing poetry in 1995 while he was drag fishing on the Columbian Star out of Astoria.

Rob Seitz is a native Alaskan who fished off Cook Inlet until 1992 when oil from the Exxon Valdez spill spoiled the fishing. He and his wife, Tiffani, lived on the North Coast until 2011 when they went to Morro Bay, California, and bought a fishing boat. They became involved in sustainable fishing and began processing their own catches to sell to local restaurants.

They now live in Astoria, where they operate South Bay Wild Seafood Market & Restaurant.

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