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September 11-12, 2021
Third Annual Conference of the Jonathan Bayliss Society

Registration is now open for our Annual Conference in Gloucester on the weekend of September 11-12, 2021. One of this year's themes is Rocky Neck, the peninsula-island attached to East Gloucester via a causeway. Bayliss lived on Rocky Neck for more than twenty years and did much of his novel-writing there.

Fun for all, whether you've read a Bayliss novel or not a word! 

The conference will include short talks relating to real people fictionalized in the books, slide shows, guided walks along Gloucester Harbor past many sites described in GLOUCESTERMAN, a silent auction, a harbor boat ride, and informal discussions over food and drink.  Download the PDF conference program


Online: click here to register and pay by credit card.
By check: f
ill out and mail the registration form.

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Albert Alcalay (1917-2008).  Night Fleet, 1956.  Oil on canvas.  Collection of the Cape Ann Museum.  Gift of the Family of Albert Alcalay, 2013

Rocky Neck in Three Dimensions: Art Colony, Marine Railways, and the Rudder, 1950s-1990s

Saturday, September 11, 2:00-3:00 PM
Presented by the Cape Ann Museum, Jonathan Bayliss Society, and the Rocky Neck Art Colony

This part of the JBS conference is free and open to the public

Six women with intimate knowledge of Rocky Neck as it was a few decades ago will share tales of their experiences in this special place. Speakers include Sally Bradshaw and Suzy O’Hara Kadiff, who as daughters of the painters Robert Bradshaw and Tom O’Hara spent childhood summers in and out of artists’ studios; Viking Gustafson, who managed the Gloucester Marine Railways for many years; and sisters Paula Parsons and Susan Baker, who ran the famous Rudder restaurant.

They will be introduced by Judy Walcott, who will touch on her own youthful memories as well as the Rocky Neck connections of the writers Peter Anastas and Jonathan Bayliss.  A short slideshow of Rocky Neck scenes will precede the one-hour program, which is free and open to the public.

This program is offered in collaboration with the Cape Ann Museum and the Rocky Neck Art Colony. It is free but registration is required. If you're not registering for the entire JBS conference, register here for this one-hour program.

2023: Gloucester 400 

Glouester400logoGloucester's 400th anniversary will be celebrated in 2023, and many organizations are coming together to commemorate the 1623 landing of the Dorchester Company expedition on what is now Half Moon Beach in Stage Fort Park. Throughout the year, events will highlight Gloucester’s rich history, culture, and heritage which will showcase its diverse community,  extraordinary contributions to art and culture, remarkable industrial achievements, and wealth of natural resources. The Jonathan Bayliss Society is one of the many partners of  Gloucester400. Please visit for more information. 

Past Readings and Other Events

The September 2020 Zoom readings entitled "From Cats to Seagulls: A Bayliss Bestiary" and "Gloucester Quintet: Five Writers, Five Friends" are on YouTube

David Rich and Ken Riaf read passages from the novels Gloucestermas and Gloucesterbook relating to downtown "Dogtown" at the first annual conference in September 2019 - the videotapes are available here

A video of a September 2015 reading on labor-related themes in the novel Prologos is on YouTube, courtesy of the Gloucester Writers Center. Readers were David Adams, Peter Anastas, Thorpe Feidt, Henry Ferrini, Doug Guidry, Victoria Bayliss Mattingly, Martin Ray, Ken Riaf, and David Rich. 

On Bayliss's birthday, September 7, 2013, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library sponsored "Dogtown's Acropolis," a reading with commentary by Peter Anastas and David Rich. See the video recording. 

A 1990 student production of Bayliss's stage play The Tower of Gilgamesh is available on the JBS YouTube channel.

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Jonathan Bayliss Society, Inc. 

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