Alaska's Fiddling Poet
Most recent news: Ken's debut novel, Now Entering Alaska Time, officially came out June 1, 2022 amid a successful six-week tour of Alaska. He followed it with jobs in Elko, Moab, Salida, Houston, Lake Jackson, San Antonio, Lafayette, and Tallahassee. In August, he's in Edmonton for the big Fringe Festival there, and then it's on to Calgary for a conference. In Fairbanks back in May he put together three new CDs, including one to go along with the novel. He'll have the new CDs in his hands by the end of July (and he's doing a book and CD release in Clifftop WV on Sunday, July 31). It's an exciting time, even if uncertain. Lots of driving!
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 Men show at Chico Performances in spring 2019
where Ken was joined by four other musicians. More about Ken and Willi is over here.
What else? Here are links to three videos from the 2018 APAP variety show. First, eight (or nine) versions of the fiddle tune,
Greasy Coat, which opened the show. Next, the 8 1/2-minute video sampler. Then, Ken Waldman's own showcase set. The
evening features the kinds of accompanists Ken Waldman brings on tour. Want even more video? Right here, here, or here.
"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