Village Books & Paper Dreams - Fairhaven
Sun: 10am-8pm
Mon-Sat: 9am-8pm
Village Books - Lynden
Sun-Tues: 10am-5pm
Wed-Sat: 10am-6pm

Tele Aadsen in conversation with Holly Hughes, What Water Holds

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Sun, 10/01/2023 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event address: 
Village Books
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225

Please join authors Tele Aadsen and Holly J. Hughes for a conversation about Tele's beautiful book, What Water Holds. This is another event in the Nature of Writing series, in partnership with our friends at the North Cascades Institute.


In What Water Holds, female commercial fisherman Tele Aadsen shares a series of lyrical, reflective essays first read at Oregon's FisherPoets Gathering. Tele examines questions of equity, identity, community, the changing climate, and sustainability, revealing complexities with loving, detailed attention. Weaving stories of what lies beneath the surface and—if we choose—the possibilities beyond, What Water Holds speaks to anyone seeking to live a full, deeply considered life.

Tele Aadsen entered commercial salmon fishing at seven years old on her parents' homemade trolling boat, and what better guide could there be to a living, and a life, made at sea? Her clear-eyed essays overflow with warmth and precision, honoring work, gender, community and creatures in complicated ways. Shearwaters and boat cats, potlucks and rescues, depression and recovery: Aadsen casts a wide net, and the reader can trust her eye, ear, mind and heart. A fine contribution to the working woman's canon. ~Christine Byl, author of Lookout and Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods

In this slim, elegant volume, Tele Aadsen evokes the sea and the fishing community in all its peril and poetry. From childhood on, hers is a life lived from dock to deck, and the empathy and understanding she brings to her past resonates on every page. Her hard-earned wisdom is rendered in brilliant writing. The reader can savor these essays one at a time, or plunge through the whole book and be equally delighted. Read What Water Holds and you will never look at salmon in quite the same way again. ~Laura Kalpakian, author of Memory into Memoir

Tele Aadsen is a writer, commercial fisherman, and lapsed social worker. A lifelong migrant between Southeast Alaska and Whatcom/Skagit counties, she lives ocean-summers aboard the F/V Nerka and land-winters in the farmlands of Bow. Tele self-markets the Nerka's catch through Nerka Sea Frozen Salmon, performs annually with FisherPoets Gathering, and collaborated with Bellingham maritime artist Tom Crestodina on the forthcoming Working Boats Coloring Book.

Holly J. Hughes is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Hold Fast, coauthor of The Pen and The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World, and editor of several anthologies, including Keep a Green Bough: Voices from the Heart of Cascadia. Her fine-art chapbook Passings received an American Book Award in 2017. She served on the staff of Pacific Lutheran University's low-residency MFA program and taught writing at the college level, as well as at the North Cascades Institute, Fishtrap, Litfuse, and Centrum.  Currently, she is copublisher of Empty Bowl Press, directs Flying Squirrel Studio, which offers residencies for women, and consults as a writing coach. She divides her time between a log cabin in Indianola and her home in the Chimacum valley.

What Water Holds By Tele Aadsen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781737040811
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Empty Bowl Press - May 30th, 2023