Northumberland poet’s radio documentary on fisher gathering

Katrina Porteous with her book 'Limekilns and Lobsterpots, which is about Beadnell.
Katrina Porteous with her book 'Limekilns and Lobsterpots, which is about Beadnell.

A radio documentary made by Beadnell poet Katrina Porteous following her visit to the a fishermen’s poetry event in the USA will air on Sunday afternoon.

In February, Katrina travelled to Astoria, Oregon, to take part in the 17th Fisher Poets’ Gathering.

The Gathering takes place annually over three days, bringing together about 80 commercial fishermen and women from all over the USA to perform their own poetry, songs and stories about the fishing life.

The live audience totals around a thousand people and many more listen on the local community radio station KMUN.

Katrina was accompanied on her visit by British radio producer Julian May and the pair’s programme about the Gathering will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 4.30pm.

Katrina said: “The Gathering was tremendous. Most of the fishermen work around Alaska catching salmon and crab, but some were from as far afield as the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii and the East Coast.

“In the Western USA, it’s not uncommon for women to work as commercial fishermen, and it was great to see so many women among the Fisher Poets.

“The poetry and songs, most of them specially written for the Gathering, were all about celebrating this tough, difficult, dangerous way of life, and the powerful love that it inspires.”

For more about Katrina’s visit, see next Thursday’s Northumberland Gazette.