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Alaska’s Fiddling Poet comes to Ridge Writers Thurs. April 4

By Donna Rosenthal–  Novelist/poet/fiddler Ken Waldman will present two events of writing, poetry, and song for Ridge Writers on Thursday, April 4, first for “Read the Book, Meet the Author” at 2 p.m. in the meeting room of Pizza Factory, and then for the Ridge Writers general meeting, starting 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room of Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, 633 W. Las Flores. Public welcome. No admission charge for the general meeting.

For “Read the Book, Meet the Author,” participants buy the book “Now Entering Alaska Time” at Red Rock Books and read it in advance. The ticket price of $35 includes tea and scones in the party room of Pizza Factory, copy of the book that the author will autograph, entry in a gift basket drawing, and convivial conversation with the author and group.

The free general meeting at 6:30 at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church does not require a reservation and will combine speaking with music and plenty of Q&A. Waldman will have books and CDs on hand to sign and sell.

“Now Entering Alaska Time” came out in 2022. Along with its publication, Waldman simultaneously released three CDs. Altogether, his 12 books range from full-length verse collections to acrostic poems for kids, a novel, and a memoir about his life as a touring artist. This visiting artist at over 250 schools in 35 states has led workshops from Alaska to Maine.

He spent all December 2023 in Fairhope, Alabama at the Wolff Writer’s Cottage. In addition to immersing himself in several long-ongoing projects, he planned his 2024 dates, among them two nights of New York City showcases at the iconic theater district club, Don’t Tell Mama. From there follows a mix of workshops, shows, and schools in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois before a big writers’ gathering in Kansas City.

Ridge Writers is the East Sierra Branch of the 115-years-old California Writers Club (calwriters.org) that traces its roots to Jack London and friends in the Bay Area and now has 22 branches throughout the state.