What is it that you long for? Be it a familiar landscape or a lost loved one, does something feel as though it’s missing? In answering these questions, many local artists are producing work that resonates with the rest of us. On this week’s show, we examine the nature of melancholy, nostalgia and meaningful human connection.


Astoria's annual FisherPoets Gathering brings members of the commercial fishing industry together to celebrate the longstanding literary traditions of the high seas. 

Astoria’s annual FisherPoets Gathering brings members of the commercial fishing industry together to celebrate the longstanding literary traditions of the high seas. 

Claudia Meza/OPB

The FisherPoets Cast Off for Astoria

Each year, during the last weekend in February, a shoal of the commercial fishing industry’s wordsmiths and musicians converge upon Astoria to share their craft. The FisherPoets Gathering is a vibrant celebration of the high seas’ literary culture. This year’s roster includes writers from both coasts, eight states and two Canadian provinces. To prepare for this year’s Gathering, we’re revisiting some of our favorite readings from last year, which marked the event’s 20th anniversary. You can attend live performances of the FisherPoets’ nautical poetry, prose, and music at a variety of Astoria’s venues from February 22-24. Featured readers from the 2018 event include:

Moe Bowstern - 3:35

Corey Arnold - 10:20

Lloyd Montgomery - 16:45

Maggie Bursch - 23:00

Dano Quinn - 27:10


A compelling figure in Portland's music scene, singer-songwriter Kelli Schaefer has released her first live album in partnership with Banana Stand Media. 

A compelling figure in Portland’s music scene, singer-songwriter Kelli Schaefer has released her first live album in partnership with Banana Stand Media. 

Nate Sjol/OPB

Plumbing the Depths with Kelli Schaefer

In recent years, Kelli Schaefer has established herself as a dynamic mainstay of the Portland music scene, vacillating between emotional, lyrical and sonic extremes. Often compared to PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, Schaefer released her last studio album, “No Identity” in 2017. Now, however, she’s issuing her first live album. The work comes courtesy of Banana Stand, a Portland-based production company that deals exclusively in live recordings and videos. Last week, OPB Music had the good fortune of premiering her new video for “Moonstruck.” To celebrate the release, we took another listen to our 2017 interview with Schaefer.


Anders Nilsen is the artist and author behind the graphic novels "Big Questions" and "Tongues," which pose philosophical questions about connectedness and isolation. 

Anders Nilsen is the artist and author behind the graphic novels “Big Questions” and “Tongues,” which pose philosophical questions about connectedness and isolation. 

April Baer/OPB

Anders Nilsen on Life, Death, and Talking Animals

Portland-based artist and author Anders Nilsen is no stranger to existential inquiry. Running through his work is an ongoing exploration of how humans relate to each other across time and space, and the dizzying range of emotions that follow. Often incorporating elements of flora and fauna, Nilsen’s unique, philosophy-steeped illustration has aptly been called “unnatural naturalism.” He utilizes seemingly-simplistic fables to tackle weighty themes like mortality, grief and personal evolution. We spoke with Nilsen last fall, just before he released the second volume of his latest graphic novel series, “Tongues.”


Music Heard On 'State Of Wonder'

A Spotify playlist to share all the music we feature on our show and anything else that inspires us while we’re making it.