Poet, Writer, Teacher

A former college professor with an MFA in Creative Writing, Ken Waldman has published fifteen full-length poetry collections, a memoir, and a creative writing manual from respected independent small presses.

NEWS: In early 2020, Ken Waldman has had three new books released: Sports Page, a full-length poetry collection from Lamar University Literary Press; The Writing Party, a hybrid book that is part writing manual, part memoir (about Ken as writer, teacher, reader), and part full-length poetry collection (all poems about writers and writing) from Mezcalita Press; and Trump Sonnets, Volume 4, the latest in that ongoing series, from Ridgeway Press.

THE LATEST NEWS: In early 2021, Ken Waldman has had four new books published: three more collections of Trump Sonnets, Volumes 5, 6, 7--a trilogy within the complete series, all in the former president's voice, and are subtitled His Early Virus Monologues, His Middle Virus Soliloquy, His Further Virus Monologues (more about these at trumpsonnets.com); and also Leftovers and Gravy, published by cyberwit.net in India, and includes some of Ken's leftover poems, many published in good journals, as well as a sequence of new love poems, plus poems referencing the pandemic, George Floyd, and more. (There will be a fifth 2021 book, Trump Sonnets,Volume 8, by summer.)  

More than four hundred of Ken's poems have appeared in such publications as Beloit Poetry Journal, Manoa, Puerto del Sol, Quarterly West, South Dakota Review, and Yankee. His short stories have appeared in Gargoyle, Laurel Review, The MacGuffin, and almost a dozen other journals. Both his poetry and fiction have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. In addition, Ken is actively shopping three additional poetry collections, a second memoir, and a short story collection. For almost thirty years now he has stayed active in the field as a writer, teacher, and reader. Since 1995 he's attended every AWP conference, but one.

In graduate school, Ken not only taught composition and developmental classes as a teaching assistant, but led workshops at the local correctional center. Afterward, Ken taught full-time in the University of Alaska system for three years, first as a visiting assistant professor in Sitka, then two years as an assistant professor in Nome, Alaska, on the Bering Sea coast, where he taught over the telephone. Ken considers himself of “the William Stafford school,” which, for him, has always meant that he has striven to be inclusive rather than exclusive as a writer and teacher.

As a writer—and as a poet—that's meant being open to wherever a piece of writing may take him.

As a teacher, that's meant being open to all kinds of students and sharing what may take them to the next stage of their development, which necessarily varies by student. He emphasizes, too, as serious as the writing process and teaching process may be, there better be room for fun. Aside from his work in colleges and universities and at schools, he's led writing workshops in communities throughout Alaska, as well as in more than a dozen other states. To read about a workshop and reading sponsored by Poets & Writers, go here.

He's especially pleased that he's found a publisher for The Writing Party. Since beginning teaching writing in 1985, Ken has developed a number of unusual and effective writing exercises. Workshops attendees have asked if he's collected them in a book. He's not only done it, but has used the descriptions of the writing exercises as a trigger to also write about his experiences as a writer and writing teacher. Find the book here.

Here's what others say about Ken's writing and teaching. You can read a few of his poems here (and watch him read others). Vita? Right here.