Moby-Dick Marathon 2022 - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Use the YouTube window above to follow along with this year's virtual Moby-Dick Marathon on Saturday, January 8th. The extracts begin at 11:30am (EST) and the main reading begins at 12:00 pm (EST).

Moby-Dick Marathon 2022

January 7-9, 2022 | Virtual
The 2022 Moby-Dick Marathon will be entirely virtual, but with all the same marathon fun and buzz!


One of the world’s best known readings of Herman Melville’s iconic American novel Moby-Dick takes place every January at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

This year’s marathon will be entirely virtual, but that won’t stop literary aficionados, school children, and everyone in between from traveling back in time to accompany narrator Ishmael on the epic hunt for the elusive white whale.

The Whaling Museum has marked the anniversary of Melville’s 1841 departure from the Port of New Bedford and Fairhaven aboard the whaleship, Acushnet, with this mid-winter tradition since 1997. Melville would later pen Moby-Dick, publishing the famous novel in 1851.

Moby-Dick Marathon weekend features the main 25-hour read-a-thon on Saturday and Sunday, interspersed with fun Melville-inspired activities, opportunities to chat with the scholars from the Melville Society Cultural Project (MSCP), a Melville-themed trivia game, and more.

Follow along with the reading using the YouTube link above beginning at 12:00 pm (EST) on Saturday, January 8th, and join the other events using the links below.

Schedule of Events

All Weekend

Cousin Hosea’s Chowder Hall and the Decanter Taproom
Even though we aren’t together in person, you can enjoy a warm meal and tasty brews from the comfort of your own home. Local restaurant Moby-Dick Brewing Co. and delivery service Gotchew have partnered with us to keep this tradition going. Order at any point during the weekend! Delivery service area is limited to within 5 miles birds-eye radius of downtown New Bedford.

Use code MOBY22 for free delivery! Order through the GotChew mobile app or
Marathon specials include: Moby-Dick inspired brews, Brews and Chowder, and Fish & Chips.

Moby-Dick Marathon Trivia
Are you a Moby-Dick Marathon Wiz? Put your knowledge to the test and complete a virtual trivia quiz created by the Melville Scholars. Take the Moby-Dick Trivia Quiz and you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a Moby-Dick Marathon prize package. (Prize details to come.)


“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for all things remote.”
- Moby-Dick

Friday, January 7 - Kickoff

Opening Night Lecture: The Spouter-Inn Revisited by Christopher Benfey
7 pm - 8 pm (EST)
Members $20 │ Non-members $25

Advance ticket purchase required.

Kick off this year’s Moby-Dick Marathon from the comfort of your own home with a lively presentation by Christopher Benfy, author and the current Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College. “The Spouter-Inn Revisited” will explore Ishmael’s reasons for taking a three-day detour in New Bedford on his way to Nantucket.  Christopher will highlight Melville’s emphasis on New Bedford’s cultural diversity and discuss the transitional realm in human experience, a theme of Moby-Dick's fourth chapter, “The Counterpane.” (The chapter features a bedspread or counterpane with a pattern that uncannily evokes Queequeg’s tattoos.)

Opening Night Dinner
Even though we aren’t together in person, you can enjoy a warm meal and tasty brews from the comfort of your own home, thanks to local restaurant Moby-Dick Brewing Co. and delivery service Gotchew. See details above under Cousin Hosea’s Chowder Hall and the Decanter Taproom.

Dinner is not included with lecture ticket price and must be ordered through the GotChew mobile app or


In this year’s re-imagined marathon, there will not be a live audience, but you can read along from home or from anywhere.

Join us beginning 1/8/2021

11:30 am (EST) Extracts (Read by the Melville Scholars)
12:00 pm (EST) Main reading begins

Watch On YouTube

2:30 pm (EST)  Virtual Chat with Melville Scholars
Exclusive access to Melville Scholars to ask them anything and everything Melville, live via Zoom.

Chat with the Melville Scholars


Reading continues through the morning.

12:00-1:00 pm (EST) Epilogue, finis

Sponsors & Partners




Reynolds Dewalt
NAIL PR logo

NBWM thanks BayCoast Bank & Bristol County Savings Bank for their generous annual support.