Conversations from the Pointed Firs: Singer, songwriter Gordon Bok

Bok discusses traditional ways of thinking unique to Maine, and to the cultural flow of humanity as informed and shaped by our ocean world.

by | March 27, 2022

Editor’s Note: The Maine Monitor is partnering with Peter Neill of the World Ocean Observatory to bring you this hour-long interview podcast. 

Conversations from the Pointed Firs is a monthly, interview-style podcast during which Peter talks with authors and artists who live in Maine, work in Maine, or otherwise derive their creativity from the essence of Maine.

Gordon Bok

The guest for this month’s Conversations from the Pointed Firs is Gordon Bok: sailor, singer, songwriter, storyteller, woodworker, sculptor, and keeper of Atlantic memory and traditional music.

He and host Peter Neill discuss traditional ways of thinking that are unique to Maine, to the Atlantic coast, and to the cultural flow of humanity as informed and shaped by our ocean world.

Bok learned many tunes, sea songs, stories, legends and ballads from the people he encountered working Camden’s boatyards. When he couldn’t find songs that matched his experiences or needs, he began to write his own, and has kept up a lively flow of poems, songs, stories, choral and instrumental works.

Bok received an honorary Doctorate of Science from the Maine Maritime Academy for his reflection of Maine’s maritime heritage in his compositions and performances. His legacy includes over 30 recordings featuring his own compositions and folk tunes from around the world. His extensive repertoire provides a rich well to draw upon for his concerts; he has never sung the same solo concert twice.

Peter Neill

Peter Neill

Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web- based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. Throughout his career, Peter has served as an advocate and independent consultant for strategic planning and innovation to organizations devoted to marine affairs, education, and public engagement. He is host of the long-running World Ocean Radio weekly audio feature, celebrating 12 years and 600 episodes in 2021; and Conversations from the Pointed Firs, a one-hour radio show on WERU-FM, wherein he interviews artists and authors who live in Maine, work in Maine, or otherwise derive their creativity from the essence of Maine.


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