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Napi’s Lecture: The Ocean’s Skin – an illustrated talk by Philip Hoare

May 30, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Philip Hoare, a frequent visitor to Cape Cod, is obsessed with the sea.  He swims in it every day – winter and summer.  In this talk, drawing on his new book, RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR, he looks at the way we humans relate to the sea’s natural history – its whales, its birds, its tides, its myths.

From Cape and Islands visitors such as Thoreau, Melville and Sylvia Plath, to contemporary artists such as Pat de Groot, he takes up human stories to see how they intertwine with watery mysteries and other species: the singing humpback, the shape-shifting selkie, the gothic cormorant.

He ventures further afield, to swim with sperm whales off the Azores and from Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, but is always drawn back to the Cape Cod, its beaches, its poets, its painters, its naturalists and its animals.  And in their collective past and present – both threatened and celebrated – he looks under what Melville called ‘the ocean’s skin’ to see our own selves reflected in it.

Philip Hoare’s book The Whale won the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. It was followed in 2013 by The Sea Inside.  His new book, RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR is published by the University of Chicago Press.  An experienced broadcaster, curator and filmmaker, he presented the BBC film The Hunt for Moby-Dick, filmed in Provincetown, New Bedford, Nantucket and the Azores.  He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton, UK, and curator of the Moby-Dick Big Read, www.mobydickbigread.com, a free online audio version of Melville’s book read by Tilda Swinton, Sir David Attenborough, Nathaniel Philbrick, Stephen Fry, Mary Oliver, John Waters and many others.  It has received 5 million hits to date.

This free presentation is part of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Winter Lecture Series, which is supported by Napi’s Restaurant at 7 Freeman Street in Provincetown. Participants are encouraged to arrive at 5 pm and enjoy Napi’s special early bird dinner!


Napi’s Restaurant
7 Freeman Street
Provincetown, MA 02657
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Center for Coastal Studies
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