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Writer and musician, Ken Waldman, visits Homer to promote new novel

Ken Waldman
Ken Waldman in an undated photo.

“I have been self proclaimed ‘The Alaskan Fiddling Poet,’” said traveling musician and writer, Ken Waldman. “I play fiddle, I tell stories, I recite poems, and now I have this novel.”

Waldman just published a new novel called “Now entering Alaska Time”, and is in Homer promoting the book. “Now Entering Alaska Time” is about his experience living in Alaska, after over 30 years. Waldman has a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and has traveled throughout the state as a teacher and college professor. He has lived in Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nome and various remote places throughout the 49th state.

“So it's fiction,” said Waldman. “The first section is about a guy in Fairbanks who is not me. But he has some similarities with me because he plays the fiddle.

Waldman is pretty prolific; he says he wrote over 600 sonnets about former president, Donald Trump. He also has over nine albums of old-time Appalachian fiddle music.

“It's my 20th book,” he said. “I have 16, full-length poetry collections. I have a memoir, a creative writing manual, a kid's book, but also now have this novel.”

Technically, "Now Entering Alaska Time" was his first book. He started writing the novel in the late 1980s and it took him almost 10 years to complete and almost 30 years to publish.

Waldman is visiting Homer as part of a several month tour. He will be performing at Pier One Theatre tonight. Tomorrow he will travel to River City Books in Soldotna, and finish off his Alaskan tour with a few more events throughout the state. Then he will continue touring throughout the Lower 48 and Canada. The Homer event will be full of surprises, he said.

“So it may mean me playing with some of the different people instead of having a big group. So it becomes not just a concert, not just a book release, but more like really wonderful theater.”

Waldmen will also be playing mandolin and fiddle and signing books tomorrow, May 25, at River City Books in Soldotna from 12 until 1 P.M.

Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, Desiree has called Alaska ‘home’ for almost two decades. Her involvement in radio began over 10 years, first as a volunteer DJ at KBBI, later as a host and producer, and now in her current role as a reporter. Her passions include stories relating to agriculture, food systems and rural issues. In her spare time, she can often be found riding her bicycle, creating art from handmade paper, or working in the garden.