The Eaton Portrait

Herman Melville JOEaton 95ppi 250wBy permission of Houghton Library, Harvard University: 61Z-4

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whale-trp200Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies appears three times a year in March, June, and October. We welcome articles, notes, reviews, and creative writing on the life, works, and influence of novelist and poet Herman Melville (1819-1891). Click here for more information.

Melville Electronic Library

mel-thumb-crpd-3The Melville Electronic Library is an online resource for Melville texts. Housed on a Hofstra University server, MEL is being developed and maintained by a group of Melville scholars and digital specialists.

Johns Hopkins University Press

jhup-logoTo join the Melvillle Society and subscribe to Leviathan, visit Leviathan's Johns Hopkins University Press journal site by clicking here.

Melville Society Cultural Project

Melville Society and New Bedford Whaling Museum Cultural Project The New Bedford Whaling Museum in collaboration with The Melville Society is the established home of the Melville Society Cultural Project and Melville Society Archive. The Melville Society Archive is housed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Research Library, where significant works from this collection are also on display. The Melville Society Cultural Project also sponsors a book donation program and presents exciting annual events including the Moby-Dick Marathon and a Birthday Lecture.

Call for Submissions: Moby-Dick Poetry Anthology

In Moby-Dick, Melville describes his tattooed harpooner, Queequeg, as "a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume." In this description, Melville challenges readers to try to unfold or understand his own "wondrous work in one volume." Since the Melville Revival of 1930, Moby-Dick continues to inspire a multiplicity and diversity of interpretations and readers—critics, artists, dramatists, cartoonists, politicians, film-makers, dramatists, poets—to use a mosaic of means to respond to his novel.

In the anticipation of publishing an anthology of poems responding to Moby-Dick, we would like to invite poetry submissions of one-to-five pages (this may include several poems or one long poem), totaling no more than 1400 words. So many media offer viable modes of response to Moby-Dick, but perhaps it is in poetry that we might weave most intricately, dive most deeply in response to his novel.

Please send your submissions to Kylan Rice ( and Elizabeth Schultz ( by July 1, 2016.

NOTE: Clicking the email address will not open your email program, copy/paste the address into your email program, but be sure to substitute @ for the AT that was inserted to foil spambots.


Melville Society at San Francisco Opera for Moby-Dick

Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer

 Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 8 pm

San Francisco Opera

Moby Dick Poster JPEG FINALsm

The Melville Society and San Francisco Opera invite you to Moby-Dick on Saturday, October 13 at 8 pm. San Francisco Opera is pleased to offer Melville Society members a special 20% off tickets. To purchase tickets, visit: – be sure to enter code: MELVILLE20

On Thursday, October 11, two days prior to the October 13, 8 pm performance, there will be a Symposium on the "Moby-Dick" opera with composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. It will be led by Samuel Otter (English Dept., Berkeley), Robert K. Wallace (English Dept., Northern Kentucky University), and John Kapusta (Music Dept., Berkeley). The Thursday October 11 Symposium will begin at 3 pm at 315 Wheeler Hall, University of California, Berkeley. The Symposium will likely be followed by a performance by one of the singers. Everyone is welcome.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that this masterpiece of American literature has been transformed into “a vibrant, compelling piece of musical theater” by Dead Man Walking composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. A cast of brilliant singing actors is led by Ben Heppner as the fierce, obsessive whaling-boat captain whose descent into madness puts his crew in mortal danger.

Read more ...


Syracuse Stage

October 10 - November 4, 2012 


The Syracuse Stage is staging the play Moby-Dick — adapted by Julian Rad and directed by Peter Amsteras —  as one of the opening shows of their 40th season. The show opens October 12th and runs until November 4th, 2012. Syracuse Stage, founded in 1974, is a professional theater in residence at Syracuse University and is Central New York’s premier professional theatre.

Read more ...

Three New Melville Plays at Arrowhead: The Melville Trilogy


"Melvilles & Morewoods"

by Sally Filkins


A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville


"Melvilles & Morewoods" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA , Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings July 5th through July 21st at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $25 and include a pre-show reception at 7pm.


"Melville's Women"

by Sally Filkins


A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville


"Melville's Women" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from August 9th through September 2nd at 7:30 pm. Pre-performance reception at 7pm. Tickets for "Melville's Women" are $25. Due to limited seating capacity, reservations are recommended. For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman, Arrowhead, 413-442-1793, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., web site or Sally Filkins, "VOICES," 413-442-1928, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


"Melville, Haunted"


"Voices" Theatre Company, in collaboration with Berkshire Historical Society, will present a new historic Pittsfield play, "Melville, Haunted," during October at Arrowhead, Herman Melville's home and museum on Holmes Road in Pittsfield. "Melville, Haunted" is the first in a series of three original plays being developed by "VOICES" for production at Arrowhead during the next twelve months. "Melville, Haunted" will be followed by "Melvilles and Moorewoods" and "Melville's Women." "VOICES" is currently the resident theatre company at Arrowhead. During the 2011 Summer Season, "VOICES" collaborated with Berkshire Historical Society to produce "Shades of the Revolution" and "Sentimental Journey" for Pittsfield's 250th Anniversary.


"Melville, Haunted" opens on Thursday October 18th at 7:30 pm and plays Friday October 19, Saturday October 20, Thursday, October 25, Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th. All performances are at 7:30 pm at Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road in Pittsfield.


Read more ...

Moby-Dick - Inside the Belly of the Beast
Presented by Darkstuff Productions

Tuesday 3 April until Thursday 19 April 

Darkstuff Productions (‘One of our favourite Bristol companies’ - Venue Magazine)  bring the Bierkeller Theatre’s inaugural season to a close by transforming the venue’s interior into Captain Ahab’s ill-fated ship The Pequod as it sails towards the legendary white whale Moby Dick. 

The company once again work with acclaimed director Anna Girvan to produce a unique promenade re-telling of one of the great American novels.  With a live musical score from composer Rarg this promises to be an exhilarating and unmissable re-telling of Herman Melville’s classic tale of obsession and revenge.

The play follows Captain Ahab on his quest to track down and kill Moby Dick. In his single-minded pursuit he risks his life and also the lives of his disparate crew. Written by Simon Harvey – Williams & Phil John Directed by Anna Girvan Live musical score by Rarg

For further info please contact either

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Performance Run - Tuesday 3 April until Thursday 19 April (Tues 3rd – Thurs 5th April Sun 8th – Thurs 12th April Sun 15th – Thurs 19th April)
Doors open 7.30pm Show Starts 8.15pm

BOX OFFICE: 0117 930 4264

For more information, click here to visit the Bierkeller Theatre website.


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Current Facebook Posts

Greg Lennes From Boston Globe: "Berkshire hills have provided inspiration to Hawthorne, Melville, Rowling."
Greg Lennes Melville in the News: The New York Times cited Melville when Kim Jong-un, the North Korea leader, called President Trump a ‘Dotard.’ Melville used it in a poem, The Maldive Shark." “Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull, Pale ravener of horrible meat.” In the poem the pilot fish leads the dull shark to food. It is the "eyes and brains to the dotard" that is the shark. In turn the pilot fish seeks protection from the shark in times of trouble. The Maldive Shark About the Shark, phlegmatical one, Pale sot of the Maldive sea, The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim, How alert in attendance be. From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw They have nothing of harm to dread, But liquidly glide on his ghastly flnak Or before his Gorgonian head; Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth In white triple tiers of glittering gates, And there find a haven when peril's abroad, An asylum in jaws of the Fates! They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey, Yet never partake of the treat- Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull, Pale ravener of horrible meat.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Chapter 86 – The Tail “Woe to that sailor, whiskers and all” when the fluke of a whale upon him does fall and the oars and the crew around him do fly and he’s floatin’ on his back starin’ up at the sky Yea, a grudging respect is all he can feel for a wallop that lands with the weight of steel And the planks of the boat around him do sprawl “very much as a juggler tosses his balls” A mere man can offer little resistance Tis something to admire – but from a distance From my collection: a poem for every chapter in Moby-Dick . 2017-09-22T14:42:00+0000
Colin Dewey "FAYAWAY: Melville, Fantasy, and Fame." FREE! Saturday at 1pm. Final "Blue Room" lecture of the season. Presented by Colin Dewey, sponsored by Cal Maritime Dept. of Culture and Communication and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
Blue Room Lecture Series - The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melvi Blue Room Lecture Series - The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melvi Blue Room Lecture Series - The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melville’s Persistent Connections with San Francisco Bay

The National Park Service and California State University Maritime Academy are partnering to present a series of free lectures for the public in 2017.

The Blue Room Lectures will be presented by professors from Cal Maritime and will take place in the Maritime Museum at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (900 Beach Street, San Francisco, in the Blue Room.) A Q & A period will follow each talk.

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 1:00 PM: “The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melville’s Persistent Connections with San Francisco Bay,” by Colin Dewey, Assistant Professor of English at Cal Maritime.
Hershel Parker Everything's up to date in the new NCE! 2017-09-16T14:11:22+0000
Hershel Parker I wonder how many will agree about the change since 2001. I see it in what is posted on this site. 2017-09-17T14:30:19+0000
Greg Lennes Here is the latest copy of "Leviathan" - Journal of Melville Studies - Volume 19 Number 2 June 2017:
Luis Velez This from last year:
A Melville Marginalia Mystery A researcher's reading of erased marginalia provides insight to Melville's thoughts on religion.
Greg Lennes From Washington Post: "On the trail of the author of ‘Moby-Dick’ in three New England towns" by Richard Selden.
On the trail of the author of ‘Moby-Dick’ in three New England towns In the ‘Melville Triangle,’ visitors learn about the author’s life and work — and, of course, whales.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Trivia- "Tom and Jerry" cartoon episode 122 - Dicky Moe 1962:)

Fellowships and Scholarships

Melville Society Archive
Walter E. Bezanson Fellowship
The Melville Society, under the auspices of the Melville Society Cultural Project in New Bedford, offers an annual fellowship to help a scholar undertake research on Herman Melville at the Society’s Archive in the Research Library of the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.


Click here for more information and application details.


New York Public Library
Short-term Research Fellowships


Graduate students or other affiliated academics whose work would benefit from visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Division to view collections such as the Gansevoort-Lansing collection, and Duyckinck family papers are encouraged to apply.


Click here for more information and application details.

From Our Photo Collections

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Woodlawn Cemetary

WoodlawnWoodlawn Cemetary - final resting place of Herman, his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members. Click here to view photos of the gravesites.

125th Anniversary Celebration

125th Woodlawn

A celebration of Melville's life at Woodlawn Cemetary on the 125th anniversary of his passing.

Lansingburgh Historical Society

Melville House

Melville lived for nine years in this Lansingburgh house. It was here that he wrote Typee and Omoo

Berkshire Historical Society

ArrowheadMelville's Arrowhead home and farm in Pittsfield, MA where he wrote Moby-Dick and lived for most of the 1850s.