Ken Waldman

Ken Waldman will be in Fairbanks at Noel Wien Library on May 18. Courtesy Ken Waldman

A familiar face is returning to Fairbanks next week.

Musician and author Ken Waldman will be on hand for the release of his ninth book. He’ll be at Noel Wien Library, 1215 Cowles St., from 6-7:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 18.

The book is “Now Entering Alaska Time” and it was been a long time in the making. According to Waldman, he started the novel 32 years ago and finished it 24 years ago. It took a long time to find a home, but he is excited it is finally published.

“Though it’s my first novel, it’s my 20th book and it has an unusual back story,” Ken Waldman said in an email. “It’s also one of nine books I’ve had published since early 2020, including a book about writing and a book about sports, which both have Alaska material. A good bit of the novel is set in Fairbanks.”

Waldman moved to Fairbanks in 1985 and attended graduate school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has since spent most of his time outside Alaska. This spring tour marks a return to the Last Frontier and includes stops in Denali Park area at the Denali Education Center on May 30, Talkeetna, Skagway, Haines, Juneau, Anchorage and Homer.

His 20 books include 16 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 now, he adds a novel.

Waldman also has nine CDs of old-time Appalachian-style string-band music, including two for children.

A former college professor with an MFA in creative writing, Waldman has been a visiting writer at nearly 100 colleges and universities, a visiting artist at more than 240 schools in 35 states, and he has led workshops from Alaska to Maine. He has toured full-time since 1995.

His poems have appeared in “Beloit Poetry Journal,” “Puerto del Sol,” “Massachusetts Review” and many more. His prose has appeared in “Gargoyle,” “Weber Studies” and “Poets & Writers Magazine” and other publications.

Here is what Don Reardon, author of “The Raven’s Gift” and “Without a Paddle” has to say about Waldman’s new book: “Ken Waldman’s ‘Now Entering Alaska Time’ offers a glimpse of an Alaska you won’t find anywhere else. Those who have lived here will recognize these characters and want to experience this world for themselves. Waldman’s debut novel lingers in your mind like a good folk song and leaves you humming. A unique blend of heartbreak and tragedy, comedy and drama. Waldman delivers an unforgettable and fun read. The 49th State changes people, and after reading ‘Now Entering Alaska Time’ you’ll understand why time here is unlike any other place on the planet.”

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/FDNMKris.

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