MDM 2019 Banner Melville plus text small

It’s Herman Melville’s 200th Anniversary and we are planning our most ambitious Marathon to celebrate!  

Did you know that Canio’s was the first institution to sponsor a Moby-Dick Marathon? Before Mystic Seaport and the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Canio’s & Sag Harbor hosted Moby-Dick Marathons! One could say we started the craze. And, it’s only fitting, as Sag Harbor & our whalers are included in this great American novel.

This year, acclaimed actor Harris Yulin will bring Father Mapple’s sermon to life at the Old Whalers’ Church, along with a local choir to help us sing the hymn, starting Friday @ 3pm. Right afterwards, Alec Baldwin will read!  Later on Friday night an acting troupe will perform the play in Chapter 40, Midnight Forecastle.

But wait, let’s not rush into the text. The Marathon creates a community. It’s moving to hear Melville’s words read aloud by different voices. And, it’s a great way to introduce people to a book that many find challenging.  We want those who’ve yet to start it, or read it through, to come and hear its mesmerizing language.  We want to encourage everyone to “get moby.”

Got Moby

Please join us at these events leading up to this best ever Canio’s Moby-Dick Marathon!


May 4, 5pm: Mary K. Edwards, Melville scholar & sailor, who will speak about her sailing adventures aboard the Charles W. Morgan, an 1841 whaleship and what she learned about Herman Melville along the way.

Thursday, May 30, 6:30pm. At John Jermain Memorial Library To continue the build up to our Maration, we will screen the 1957 classic Moby-Dick Film with Gregory Peck. At the Library, one of five institutions where the Marathon will take place, see the schedule below.

Thursday, June 6, 6pm At the Whaling Museum, another port on the Marathon, a Melville aficionado  will discuss the classic and get us ready to read! A reception follows.


Friday, June 7

12:30 – 2:45pm Canio’s Books

3:00 – 7:00pm Old Whalers’ Church

7:15 – 10:00pm Canio’s Books

Saturday, June 8

10 – 1:45 pm Sag Harbor Whaling Museum

2:00 – 5:15pm John Jermain Memorial Library

5:30 – 11:00 pm Canio’s Books

Sunday, June 9

10:30 – 12:45pm Eastville Community & Historical Society

1:00 – 5:00 pm Canio’s Books with after celebration!

To read please email caniosculturalcafe@gmail with MDM subject and include the day & 3-hour window you’d like to read.  We’ll get back to you. Thanks!


From our 2017 MOBY-DICK Marathon

Button MDM SEA effect NEW

Marathon Warm-UP:

May 20, 5pm Melville aficionado Lisa Dickman, who will present “Herman Melville. Melville: the Modern Master,” a friendly introduction to the great American writer, to warm us up for the Moby-Dick Marathon, 2017! Come and participate in this lively discussion.

Thurs., June 1, 6:30pm, JJML:  Moby-Dick Film with Gregory Peck.
To continue the build up to our 2017 Moby-Dick Maration, we will screen the 1957 classic film with Gregory Peck at Sag Harbor’s JJMLibrary. The Library is one of five institutions where the Marathon will take place, see the schedule below. Come early to get a seat. Film starts @ 6:30!

Silent Auction Items from 2017

Jules Fieffer drawing, Pas de Deux with Whale. Signed, watercolor and ink, 14×17.” Retail, $3500. OPENING BID: $2100, bid increments $200. Call 631.725.4926 to bid. * SOLD *

Jules Feiffer Pas De Deux With Whale.jpg

Claus Hoie watercolor, Queequeg, signed “For Canio,” 6 x 7 1/4,” framed 14 x 16.”     Retail, $4500. OPENING BID: $_____, bid increments $200. Deatils soon.Call 631.725.4926 to bid. * SOLD *

Claus Hoie Queequeg For Canio

Moby-Dick Marathon Schedule, June 9-11:

FRIDAY, June 9:
11:00-12:15am Canio’s Books
12:30- 3:45pm Old Whaler’s Church
4:00 – 10:00pm Canio’s Books

SATURDAY, June 10:
10:00 – 1:50pm Sag Harbor Whaling Museum
2:00 – 5:45pm John Jermain Memorial Library
6:00 – 10:00pm Canio’s Books

SUNDAY, June 11:
11:00 – 1:15 Eastville Community & Historical Society
1:30 – 4:00 Canio’s Books with AFTER PARTY

Are you Ready to READ, Matey!?

To register to read, send an email with date and time period you are available to: caniosculturalcafe at with MDM reader as subject.  We’ll send a confirmation.


Chapter sponsorships help support Canio’s Cultural Cafe year-round programming & underwrite Marathon expenses.   It’s a fun way to honor your favorite chapter and help our efforts. Sponsors are listed in our program, and on the MDM Sponsors & Readers page.  Sponsorship levels include:

Ahab: $100 receives a commemorative button
Ishmael: $200 receives a button & t-shirt
Queequeg: $300 receives a button, t-shirt, & Modern Library edition of Moby-Dick with Rockwell Kent illustrations
Starbuck: $500 receives all of the above, plus commemorative poster
Melville: $1000 receives all of the above, plus two seats in a two-hour cruise with Captain Anton Hagen aboard the Marlinspike.

To donate, pick a chapter, your level of support, and send an email to caniosculturalcafe at with MDM donor as subject. Please include two alternate chapters in case your first choice has been selected. Popular chapters go fast. Then, send your check to: Canio’s Cultural Cafe, 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963.

We look forward to seeing you at the MOBY-DICK MARATHON!  Come in costume & join us at the finale party Sunday afternoon. We are grateful for your support.


Email us at caniosculturalcafe at with MDM as subject. We look forward to seeing you at the MOBY-DICK MARATHON!


Here’s a look back at our last Marathon:

JUNE 12 -14, 2015

We DID it!  The Moby-Dick Marathon 2015 was a BIG success!

A BIG Thanks to our Cultural District partners, all the readers & listeners. 
We couldn’t do it without you!

The MOBY-DICK Marathon 2015 celebrated the 35th anniversary of Canio’s Books!  In 1983, Canio Pavone started the yearly Marathon to celebrate Sag Harbor’s seafaring history and its literary tradition.  The Marathon ran for several years at the bookshop, in the 1990s it was held at the Old Whaler’s Church for a few years, and then at John Jermain Memorial Library in the early 2000s. 2015 is the 375th anniversary of the town of Southampton and the Marathon was part of the town’s celebration.

6 Locations, 163 Readers, 28 Hours, ONE Book!

Marathon hours:

Friday, June 12, 12 – 9 p.m.
12-3 Canio’s Books
3-6 Whaling Museum – FULL
6-9 Canio’s Books

Saturday, June 13, 10 – 9 p.m.
10-1 Bay Street Theatre – FULL
1-4 John Jermain Memorial Library – FULL
4-7 Old Whaler’s Church
7-10 Canio’s Books

Sunday, June 14, 11 – 4 p.m.
11-2 Eastville Community Historical Society
2-5 Canio’s Books with AFTER PARTY!


(From our friends at the NYC MDM. Thanks, Polly!)



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