Oregon Folklife Network

Shifting Tides: Women of the FisherPoets Gathering

Shifting Tides: Women of the FisherPoets Gathering highlights the creative work that women fishermen Moe Bowstern, Erin Fristad, and Tele Aadsen. These women perform at the annual FisherPoets Gathering, which takes place in Astoria, Oregon. The FisherPoets Gathering encourages commercial fishermen to share their experiences of the occupation through their creative expressions. Women fisherpoets have taken the stage to assert their competence as commercial fishermen and fisherpoets in predominantly male spaces. The exhibit introduces the nature and a brief history of the FisherPoets Gathering. It provides an excerpt from “Subcutaneous Layer of Fat,” a prose work written by Moe Bowstern that addresses the lower expectations for women fishermen. Copies of the FisherPoets Anthology, Anchored in Deep Water, and Bowstern’s XTRATUF zines are featured. Meyer, the exhibit coordinator, documented commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Excerpts from Erin Fristad’s poem “Advice to Female Deckhands” and Tele Aadsen’s prose “Being a Female: An Unwelcome Reminder” are also featured. Their words make clear the issues of inequality in the commercial fishing industry that fisherpoet women express through their performances.