OFN Represents at Western States Folklore Conferences

Oregon Folklife Network staff members attended concurrent conferences from April 10-13: The Western States Folklore Society Conference and the Association of Western States Folklorists Conference. Both conferences this year were held at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

OFN Graduate Research Fellow (GRF) Em Knott, along with fellow graduate students Adrienne Decker and Julie Meyer, spoke about the 2014 FisherPoets Gathering. GRF Bruno Seraphin presented a paper and some film clips from his work with the Green Grass Cloggers of Western North Carolina.

Program Manager Emily West Afanador facilitated working sessions at the Association of Western States Folklorists meeting. Thanks to supplemental funding from WESTAF, OFN sent two additional professionals emerging in the field of folklore: Lyle Murphy and Maya Muñoz-Tobón, both recent graduates from University of Oregon’s Folklore program and Arts and Administration program respectively.

The conferences were fantastic; we feel honored to be among such an excellent community of Western States folklorists!

McKenzie River Folklife

The McKenzie River Guides Association hosted a dutch oven cook-off on April 19th. The annual event happens just before the beginning of guiding season, and started years ago as a way for all the guides to come together to get their boats inspected.  Over the years the tradition evolved into a fun (and delicious) community event that shows off the guides’ cooking expertise.

Wooden Boat Festival
On April 26th, the McKenzie River Guide community held its 9th annual Wooden Boat Festival at Eagle Rock Lodge, in Vida, “celebrating the history, the form and the function of the wooden white water boat that was invented here on McKenzie River.”

Don’t Miss Fisher Poetry in Eugene!

Oregon Folklife Network presents an interactive arts workshop followed by an evening of entertainment with Fisher Poets, Jon Broderick and Jay Speakman, at Cozmic Pizza in Eugene on Thursday, May 1. Workshop at 4; Performance at 7pm.

Come learn more about one of Oregon’s unique occupations on May 1, and celebrate May Day – a traditional labor holiday! A 4pm workshop on poetry writing and recitation is appropriate for both young and adult writers of all experience levels.  The 7pm performance brings the poetry to life with readings, music, jokes, and spoken word.

Fisher Poetry is part of Oregon’s cultural and occupational folklife. An art form unique to commercial fishermen (and women – who incidentally prefer the same name), Fisher Poets express and share their exciting, dangerous, and sublime experiences on the sea through poems and songs.

John and Jay will also be telling stories and performing at the Longhouse of Many Nations on the University of Oregon Campus on Friday, May 2nd. University students are especially encouraged to attend!

Broderick and Speakman, organizers of the annual FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria each year, recite and sing about the dangers of their work, the beauty of a livelihood embedded in nature, and the values they share by growing up amidst small family businesses.  While enjoying their lyrical stories, you’ll learn about their unique skills and laugh at the humor they bring to bizarre challenges that come with enduring impossibly long hours, like sleeping in full rubber attire.
Tickets for each event will be available at the door for sliding scale fee ($3-$20), and will help sustain folklife programming in our state. 

Save the Dates:

Thursday, May 1st at Cozmic Pizza:
Music and Poetry Performance: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Writing Workshop: 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Friday, May 2nd at the U. of O. Longhouse:
Performances, conversations, and oral history of the FisherPoets Gathering: 12:00 – 2:00 pm

Check out this video of John and Jay!