JUNEAU - Ken Waldman, "Alaska's Fiddling Poet," will be featured at a book-signing and a performance Monday, July 8.
Waldman will sign copies of his two books of poetry and perform a few fiddle tunes from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at the Back Room at the Silverbow Inn. Music will be the emphasis a few hours later when he will perform fiddle tunes with a small group of backup musicians between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. at the Alaskan Bar. Both events are free.
Waldman lived in Juneau for several years in the mid-1990s and now lives in Anchorage. A 16-year resident of Alaska, he also lived in Nome and Sitka, where he worked as an English teacher.
Waldman's poetry has been published in a wide variety of national poetry journals and almost two dozen chapbooks, which are short, self-published collections. In 2000, West End Press of Albuquerque, N.M., published "Nome Poems," and in March of this year published "To Live on This Earth." Both books will be available at the book-signing.
Waldman also has released two recordings of old-time fiddle music and spoken word poetry, "A Week in Eek" and "Burnt Down House." The recordings feature Waldman reciting his poetry and playing fiddle, accompanied by Andrea Cooper on banjo and flute.
Waldman's poetry often features the people and characters he has crossed paths with in his years in Alaska - students, politicians, musicians and especially the Native Alaskans of Nome and the Interior villages where he taught.
Waldman toured the country this winter and spring as "Alaska's Fiddling Poet," performing old-time fiddle tunes interspersed with his original poetry.