Talks and Events

A book about my captivity is still on its way, but in the meantime I’ll be available for talks — on Somalia, on pirate history, on migration to Europe, or on the history of surfing — so please drop a line here if you’re interested.

Some recent events include:

UC San Diego
“Pirates and Islam,” a guest lecture for Dr. Mark Hanna, May 2018

Oklahoma University
Journalism Under Siege, a talk with Diane Foley and Mike Boettcher, November 2017

Ft. Worth, Texas
“From Journalism to Life in Captivity in Somalia,” Bob Schieffer College, Texas Christian University, March and October, 2017

Barcelona, Spain
NUMA Startup Acceleration, a corporate retreat in Barcelona, July 2017

Boston, Massachusetts
Humor, Survival, and Somali Pirates, November 2016 TEDxBeaconStreet, 2016

Aboard the Frankfurt am Main, a German navy vessel
“What Happened in Somalia,” a talk to officers & enlisted sailors, off the coast of Libya, May 2016.

Washington, DC
“Pirates, Islam, and U.S. Hostage Policy,” The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, June 2015

Michael Scott Moore is a literary journalist and a novelist, author of a comic novel about L.A., Too Much of Nothing, as well as a travel book about surfing, Sweetness and Blood, which was named a best book of 2010 by The Economist and Popmatters. He was kidnapped in 2012 on a reporting trip to Somalia and held hostage for two and a half years. The Desert and the Sea, a memoir about that ordeal, is out now from HarperCollins.

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Speaking Events

September 04, 2018

USC Center on Public Diplomacy

12:00pm to 1:00pm

USC campus; ASC 207

Los Angeles, CA 90089

October 17, 2018

Mechanic’s Institute Library
Part of LitQuake

7pm (subject to change)

57 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94104

More Speaking Events


The men from the Naham 3 are all friends of mine — a crew of 26 sailors from southeast Asia who worked on a tuna long-liner flagged in Oman but owned by a company in Taiwan, which abandoned them after Somali pirates hijacked the ship in 2012.

While I was in Somalia a man called Geoff Carter wrote about a picture of Indian men surfing on stand-up boards around 1800 off Chennai, which altered the known history of surfing a bit, even though the picture was hiding in plain sight at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Some people have asked about the Somalia memoir. It’s right on schedule, I promise, but it won’t be out for at least another year. It’s been revised in full, twice (see above), and it’ll need a few more revisions before we get anywhere. Old-fashioned authorship. July, 2018?

A version of what happened in Somalia is available as a Long Read at The Guardian, and, in somewhat shorter form, for German readers, in Der Spiegel. It’s not even near complete. Enormous parts of the story have been left untold.



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