Alaska's Fiddling Poet
Most recent news: Ken's debut novel and twentieth book, Now Entering Alaska Time, came out in June, 2022 amid a successful six-week tour of Alaska. Summer 2022 he also released three CDs simultaneously, including one to go with the book. The past year he's criss-crossed the country five, or is it six, times, including events in New York City, Tallahassee, Austin, Kansas City, Edmonton AB, Moab UT, Portland, and Homer AK. A new North American edition of the novel is due out in late 2023.
What's next? We'll see!
His twelve CDs of old-time Appalachian-style string-band music include two for children.
His twenty books consist of sixteen full-length poetry collections, a memoir about his life as a touring artist, a volume of
acrostic poems for kids, and a hybrid book that's part creative writing manual, part memoir, part full-length collection of
poems (about writers and writing). And there's his twentieth, the novel.
A former college professor with an MFA in Creative Writing, he's been a visiting writer at nearly 100 colleges and universities,
a visiting artist at over 240 schools in 35 states, and has led workshops from Alaska to Maine.
As a performer, he's played from the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage to the Woodford Folk Festival (Queensland, Australia),
occasionally as a soloist, more often as leader of one of his ever-changing troupes of nationally recognized musicians.
Here's more about the music, the writing, the children's programs, and how they're all coming together under the broader
umbrella of Nomadic Productions.
Highlights? Here's his essay in the Sept./Oct. 2015 issue of Poets & Writers magazine.
2017-2021, Ridgeway Press of Roseville, Michigan published eight of Ken's books. It's a special project.
Below, a pair of 8 1/2-minute video samplers featuring eight acts from his 2016 and 2017 Manhattan to Moose Pass roots
music variety shows, an evening he produces annually in conjunction with January's APAP conference in NYC. In the middle,
Ken Waldman with Willi Carlisle as part of a Ken Waldman & The Wild Ones show at Chico Performances in spring 2019
where Ken was joined by four other musicians.
"He brings his instruments, a few fellow musicians, and his poems about surviving a plane crash (locals once called him
"a walking dead man"), watching grizzlies feed in a garbage dump, and other adventures in the forty-ninth state."
The New Yorker
". . . might tempt you to plan a road trip with a journal under one arm and a fiddle under the other."
“Like a Ken Burns movie . . . Always recommended.”
“Picture William Carlos Williams behind a dogsled. Walt Whitman jamming with the Carter Family.”
The State, Columbia SC
photos by Art Sutch, Isak Tiner, Kate Wool, Avery Cunliffe, Tom Wayne, Bremner Duthie, and Jennifer Nguyen
website design by Sabra Guzmán