22nd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon

January 5 – 7, 2018

Schedule of Events  |  Schedule of Events (pdf)  Reader Program (pdf)  |  FAQ (pdf)  |  Marathon Reading Timetable (pdf)  |  Photo Gallery

  Attendees joined us for the 22nd annual readathon of America’s most iconic novel, Moby-Dick; an experience one does not want to miss. Participants could relive the famous, action-packed narrative and be transported back in time on the search for the elusive white whale. In addition to the main event, the Whaling Museum hosted two mini-marathons: a Portuguese-language reading of Tiago Patricio’s abridged Moby-Dick; and a children’s version by Classic Starts.


Schedule of Events

Schedule of Events (downloadable PDF)

The entire marathon was broadcast via livestream in a couple of venues within the Museum, as well as online, so enthusiasts around the globe could follow along.

Friday, January 5

5:30 – 9 pm
Pre-marathon Dinner, Movie, and Discussion
Members $40  |  Non-members $50
Ticket sales is now closed
Learn More

A meal well-suited for hungry sailors followed by David Shaerf’s documentary film Call Us Ishmael, an intimate look at the world’s obsession with Moby-Dick and its cultural legacy. The Melville Society Cultural Project concluded the night with a lively discussion of the film.
Sponsored by Buzzards Bay Brewing.



Saturday, January 6

10 am – Sunday 1 pm
FREE and open to the public

10 am Stump the Scholars
Test your knowledge of Moby-Dick and try to Stump the Scholars with questions for Melville Society Cultural Project members.

10 am Children’s Mini-Marathon
Children of all ages read a section of an abridged version of Moby-Dick by Classic Starts

11:30 am Extracts read by the Melville Society Cultural Project members

12 pm The Main Attraction
The 22nd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon reading begins with celebrity readers nestled among the world’s largest model whaleship – the Lagoda. Next, head to the Seamen’s Bethel to hear Father Mapple’s rousing sermon (if your name is drawn in the seat raffle. Otherwise, watch a live-stream of the sermon in the Museum’s theater.) Readings continue while overlooking the New Bedford Harbor, with the exception of Chapter 40, “Forecastle-Midnight” in the Museum’s theater with Culture*Park. Listen to excerpts read in multiple languages, bringing to life Melville’s experience of a culturally diverse whaling crew.

2:30 pm Chat with Melville Scholars & Book Signing
Book signing by contributors to the new third edition of Norton’s Moby-Dick from the Melville Society Cultural Project members (Robert K. Wallace, Timothy Marr, Wyn Kelley, Mary K.  Bercaw Edwards).

3 pm Portuguese Mini-Marathon
Join us for the third annual reading of Tiago Patricio’s abridged version of Moby-Dick in Portuguese. Read Melville in the Azorean Whaleman Gallery with forty-eight other intrepid souls.

Junte-nos para a terceira leitura anual de versão abreviada de Tiago Patricio de Moby-Dick em Português. Leia Melville na Galeria do Baleeiro Açoreano com quarenta e oito outras almas intrépidas.

Special thanks to the Azorean Maritime Historical Society and the Portuguese Consulate of New Bedford.

Um agradecimento especial ao Azorean Maritime Historical Society e ao Consulado de Portugal em New Bedford.

Obrigado pelo seu interesse na mini Maratona de Moby-Dick  em lingua Portuguesa. Todos os lugares para leitores são preenchidos. Não estamos aceitando novos registros.

Thank you for your interest in the Moby-Dick Marathon in Portuguese. All of the places for readers are filled. We are not accepting new registrations.


3 – 5 pm “Above It All” Artist Demonstration
New Bedford Whaling National Park, 33 William Street (across the street from Museum)

Art in action as artist Peter Michael Martin pulled a large-scale woodblock print especially designed for the Moby-Dick Marathon. Peter’s collection of large-scale pieces called Martin & Moby, inspired by Moby-Dick, were exhibited at the Whaling Museum January–June 2014. Currently, a piece by Peter entitled Trust (4 ft x 8 ft) is on exhibit in Enlightened Encounters: The Two Nations of Manjiro Nakahama at the Whaling Museum.

4 – 5 pm Artist Jacob Mark signed copies of the poster he designed for the marathon

5 – 9 pm Cousin Hosea’s Chowder House and the Decanter Taproom
Attendees could re-charge and warm up with New Bedford’s finest chowders and soups from local restaurants – Destination Soups, Freestone’s City Grill, Tia Maria’s European Cafe, and Quahog Republic Whaler’s Tavern. Moby-Dick Brewing Co. served up local brews in the Decanter Taproom.

7 – 7:30 pm Culture*Park’s performance of Midnight on the Fo’c’sle (chapter 40)


Sunday, January 7

8 am The 20th-hour Feast
Malassadas were provided by Inner Bay Café, to add fuel for the home stretch!

9:30 am Chat with Melville Scholars

Around 1 pm Epilogue
A few souls were richly rewarded for impressively staying up all nigh


Herman MelvilleLearn more
Was there a real Moby Dick?

Thank you to our Marathon Sponsors!


Allan Smith logo


Buzzards Bay Brewing logo


Empire Loan Logo




Thank you to our Marathon Partners!


pidalia logo


Azorean Maritime Heritage Society logo


Consulate of Portugal in New Bedford logo


Chowder Sponsors

Chowder provided by Destination Soups, Freestone’s City Grill, Tia Maria’s European Cafe and Whaler’s Tavern.


20th-hour Feast Sponsor

Inner Bay Café


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