Conversations from the Pointed Firs 3/1/24: Kristie Billings

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger
Music by Casey Neill

Conversations from the Pointed Firs is a monthly audio series with Maine-connected authors and artists discussing new books and creative projects that invoke the spirit of Maine, its history, its ecology, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life. Airs the first Friday of every month from 4-5pm. Online at

This month:
This month on Conversations from the Pointed Firs host Peter Neill sits down with Kristie Billings. A wearer of many hats, Kristie is a long-time DJ for ‘Daydream Nation’ on the WERU Community Radio in Orland, Maine. From small-town grocery clerk to working in a fish market, owning her own shoe store, being an Arts Educator at a local theater, a lobster fisher, and an antiques seller, Kristie has done it all.

Most of all, Kristie is a collector. Of stories, of emotions, of dolls, of feelings, wigs, mannequin parts, record albums, memories, beauty, laughter, vintage clothing, scallop shells, barnacles, and hermit crabs. She is an observer, as well. She has been writing poetry since childhood, and taking pictures forever with her old Nikon and other cameras she’s amassed over the years.

Her latest book, “Sea Witch: Photographs, Poems and Forget Me Nots from a Mainer Growing Up” (Seaport Books, Nov 2023) is filled with images and words of the sea, nature, folk art, dolls, loss, grief, love, acceptance, rage, music, and life.

Kristie Billings comes from a long line of lovers of the sea: fishermen, clamdiggers, and sardine packers. The ocean is home. She is a poet, a photographer, and a year-round swimmer. She is currently living in Ellsworth, Maine, and a native of Stonington, on Deer Isle. A great lover of music, art, and life, Kristie is drawn to beauty, even in the most ordinary, mundane way. She is drawn to what others may pass by, unnoticed.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.