"Full of poems that stand alone as consummate accomplishments, Conditions and Cures nevertheless coheres as a book about life-and-death verities, strategies for survival or triumph or at least coping gracefully. The comic is one of those strategies, and Ken Waldman is often at his most hilarious when he's addressing subjects another poet might murder with solemnity. In addition, he frequently engages with demanding forms like pantoums, villanelles, sestinas, and sonnets, submitting to their guidance but never losing his independence. The secret of such a trick is his ear: a professional musician, Waldman swears final allegiance to the body of our language, its sonorities and rhythms, to its possibilities as song--a co-strategy with the comic."
--Philip Dacey, Poet and Writer, Minneapolis MN
"The poems in And Shadow Remained are Ken Waldman's best--they're dark, sad, and knowing, fragmented snapshots of family regret, busted relationships, and a man moving through the harsh Alaska terrain as he tries to stay warm with a song: insights aren't sufficient, good intentions never good enough,as we learn in the emblematic explosions of "Depression Glass" or the desecrated bible in the harrowing "My Father's Gift." There's humor, too, though, to distract from the hunger (who can resist a poem titled "When Meat Was Meat" or "Satan Found!?"), and, finally, enough food here to feed a lost army."
--Gaylord Brewer, Professor of English, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro TN
"More than poetry, they are documents which will help others, 50 or 100 years from now, come to grips with what is was like to be in the world in the aftermath of 9/11. . . . As the World Burns is a hugely ambitious book, containing over 60 mostly Petrarchan sonnets. Waldman imagines himself into George W.'s head and goes from there. Scary stuff! It is a rare but great thing to see a contemporary poet working in the satiric tradition of Dryden, Pope, and Swift."
--Kevin Higgins, nthposition.com
"You truly inspired some of the self-proclaimed "non-writers" to see value in crafting poetry. My creative writers all gave me highly positive feedback. One comment that captures their feelings well--"He helped us get out of the box and think about poetry on another level." We would happily have you back in a few years."
--Sherry Cook Stanforth, Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing, Thomas More College, Crestview Hills KY
"To Live on this Earth should please Haines and Stafford fans. . . . The voice--graceful, informal, plainspoken--carries along the poetry. And it seems to be a conscious Waldman concern."
--Robert Flanagan, Columbus Dispatch
"These poems might recall wandering in the West in the 60's, a poet's and musician's contemporary On the Road when the road led to Alaska. They seem most successful in the ones of long rather than short lines, but they almost always delight in their generous, sometimes ironic presentation."
--Robert W. Lewis, North Dakota Quarterly
"I enjoyed seeing Ken fiddle and entertain young children and, later the same day, an adult community audience at the Annette Turner-Howell Center for the Arts. However I brought him to the university to support my workshop curriculum, since I was teaching Conditions and Cures, a strong collection of Ken's poetry. His interaction with my workshop was very positive. He offered astute comments on the student poems and spoke usefully about his own work. . . . His reading for the university was also successful, as he was able to demonstrate more of his poetic edge, balanced with mood shifts punctuated by his fiddle interludes. Students remarked afterward that they had enjoyed the reading immensely, focusing particularly on one of his longer poems about surviving a small plane crash in Alaska. Ken Waldman's work at Valdosta State University was outstanding, and I recommend him highly."
--Marty Williams, Professor of English, Valdosta State University, Valdosta GA
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