Poet Ken Waldman
To Appear at FSC
LAKELAND, Fla. (Jan. 22,
2004) - Alaska poet and musician Ken Waldman will appear at the
Anne MacGregor Jenkins Recital Hall (Branscomb 202) at Florida Southern
College on Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. He will be accompanied by Brooke
Mitchell, a banjo player who recently graduated with a music degree
from the University of South Carolina. Originally from the Philadelphia
area, Waldman lived in Chapel Hill, N.C., and. Seattle before settling
in Alaska. Waldman has drawn on his 17 years in Alaska to produce
poems, stories, and fiddle tunes that combine into a performance
uniquely his own.
A former college professor, Waldman has had more than 350 poems
and stories published in national journals and has worked full-time
since 1994 as Alaska's Fiddling Poet, performing at some of the
nation's leading clubs, bookstores, universities, and arts festivals.
His first full-length collection, "Nome Poems," was published in
April 2000 by West End Press of Albuquerque and is now in its second
printing. It chronicles the two years Waldman spent teaching writing
over telephone at the Nome campus of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Also included is a section about the 1996 plane crash that led locals
to refer to him as "a walking dead man." In March 2002, West End
Press published a second collection, "To Live on this Earth," which
contains more Alaska poems, including a number of poems about traditional
music and dance. Within a year, this too went into a second printing.
Both books are distributed by University of New Mexico Press.
In May 2000, he released his first CD, "A Week in Eek," a collaboration
with Vancouver banjo and flute player Andrea Cooper. The CD features
poems read over a mix of traditional Appalachian tunes and originals
Waldman has composed in that style. It received strong reviews in
magazines such as Dirty Linen and Sing Out! His second CD, "Burnt
Down House," received another round of strong reviews and widespread
national airplay. Waldman's CDs are available at FSC's Roux Library.
Though he still performs solo on occasion, Waldman teams with other
musicians for a bigger sound when he headlines such venues as Freight
and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, Calif., The ArtsCenter in Carrboro,
N.C., Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, The Knitting Factory
in New York City, and The Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center
in Washington D.C.
He is also a popular visiting artist in classrooms. Employing both
his fiddle and a repertoire of proven writing exercises, he has
led workshops in over 100 colleges and schools in 15 states nationwide.
He will visit classes at FSC.
For information regarding Ken Waldman's appearance at FSC, please
contact Dr. Bernard Quetchenbach at 863-680-4221 or at bquetchenbach@fl;southern.edu.
About Florida Southern College
Florida Southern is a four-year, private, co-educational liberal
arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The college
offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and a master of business
administration degree accredited by the Commission on Colleges of
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Located in Lakeland,
Fla., the college is home to the largest, single-site collection
of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.