Alaska's Fiddling Poet

What's new?

Ken spent all December 2023 in Fairhope, Alabama at the Wolff Writer's Cottage. In addition to working on several long-ongoing writing projects, he was deep in planning a wide range of 2024 dates, including two nights of New York City showcases at the iconic theater district club, Don't Tell Mama. From there, a mix of workshops, shows, and school visits in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois before a big writers' gathering in Kansas City, AWP, which Ken attended along with approximately 8,000 others, and then Folk Alliance, also in Kansas City, which Ken attended along with approximately 3,000 others.

From there, Ken journeyed north, then west. Gigs in Minnesota, Colorado and California, plus a big meeting in Utah to discuss the launch of THE NOMAD, a new literary journal Ken is co-editing with Salt Lake City writer, Rachel White. April 10, he flew from Seattle to Juneau, where the past week he appeared on radio with two musician friends for a JUNEAU AFTERNOON interview, played his Alaska Folk Festival set with five musician friends accompanying, did a bookstore event at Hearthside Books, and visited two classes at Gastineau Elementary. Next, it's Skagway to play a festival set, and visit a bookstore, before flying to Anchorage on April 23. 

A reminder, too, that 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. If you click this link, you'll see that a new North American edition of the novel came out in late 2023. This time around he'll be in Alaska for several months in support of the book. Click right here to see where.

What's next? We'll see (but this page shows the kind of work Ken will continue to provide).

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 over 100 colleges and universities,
a visiting artist at over 250 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."
   Boston Globe

“Like a Ken Burns movie . . . Always recommended.”
   Austin Chronicle

“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