3 Full-Length Poetry Collections
by Ken Waldman
Nov. 2, 2018
Reviewed by Mark Tamsula
Waldman's First P
ublished Poetry Collection in a Decade
The day after the 2016 November presidential election, Ken
Waldman jotted a phrase:
"Before long, Donald Trump would make former president, George W. Bush,
look like a statesman." That insight led to a sonnet, which led to
dozens more. By mid-December, he had enough for Trump
Sonnets, Volume 1, which Ridgeway Press of Roseville, Michigan
immediately published, and which Ken had in his hands by the inauguration.
Volume 1, is a face off on a ball court of truth vs.reality. Each
sonnet fires off 14 lines of astonishment and despair at the country's
highest elected official. Every
volley met and returned by tweets of ludicrous lewdness, read
directly from Donald Trump's mind, and in his voice. 71 sonnets, covering
the first fifty days of this administration.
What soon followed was Trump
Sonnets, Volume 2, which Ken wrote while on tour in spring 2017.
Half of this sequel's 66 poems are incisive commentary (and include poems
for Mitch McConnell, Jeff Sessions, and Sean Spicer/Sarah Huckabee Sanders
in addition to the Trump ones). For the other half Ken intrepidly
submerges into the subconscious realm of Trump's dreams that he imagines
Donald Trump might have. No analysis, therapy
or explanation is suggested,
just raw footage from inside the mind of the man who could destroy us all.
In the summer of 2017, Ken wrote an essay, "Donald
Trump is My Muse," to try and explain the deluge of poems. His stage
show also titled "Donald Trump is My Muse" features these poems.
From fall 2017 to spring 2018, he wrote
Sonnets, Volume 3: The International Edition. Volume 3 transcends the view from the mountain top to span
the entire planet, like a cable package connecting directly to the minds
and hearts of people in over 70 countries. Ken Waldman is no longer just
channeling himself and Donald Trump, he is now channeling the conscience
of the whole country, from the perspective of the entire world. For those
of you who have avoided doing, or saying, or thinking anything about this
situation we're in, here is your cathartic. Give these poems a chance to
be the outlet of your frustration, to realize for yourself where you stand, but
arenít comfortable, or up to the task of saying it aloud.
People have asked if there will be a Volume 4. Waldman
says only that he's doing his job as an engaged citizen.
Since 1994, Ken Waldman has made his living as a
freelance writer, musician, performer, and educator, and has appeared at
leading festivals, performing arts centers, concert series, colleges, and clubs throughout North America.
He combines Appalachian-style string-band music, original poetry, and
Alaska-set storytelling for a performance uniquely his.
Nine CDs include
two for children. Eleven books include a kids' book, a memoir (about his
life as a touring artist), and nine full-length poetry collections.
There's more about this project at www.trumpsonnets.com
and more about Ken at
Original Artwork of
Robert H. Yonke, Jr.
"The Bluegrass Painter"
May 5, 2004
Reviewed by Mark Tamsula
I take much pride in recommending you visit
this site. It's a wonderful collection of music theme art by a really
great guy, Robert Yonke. I had the pleasure of getting to know "Fiddlin'
Bob" a few years ago, and I was completely taken by surprise when he
sent me a holiday card illustrated by his own hand. His gallery displays
much of his own life and interests, from rural scenes of Garrett County,
Maryland, picturesque views of Deep Creek, and many portraits depicting
the spontaneity and colorful energy of festivals and jam sessions. I hope
you enjoy it.
Poole reviewed on NPR's "Fresh Air"
WHYY, May 16, 2005
- Rock historian Ed Ward reviews a three-disc release of a Charlie
Poole recording from the 1930s. The record, You Ain't Talkin' To Me,
is from the Columbia Legacy label.
Listen to the broadcast stored on NPR's website
YOU AINíT TALKINí TO ME was compiled and produced for
reissue by Henry Sapoznik, who brings to the project his expertise as a
professional musician (adept at banjo and guitar) in the old time and
klezmer fields. As an award-winning author, producer, archivist, historian
and radio producer he also wrote the definitive 6,000 word liner note
essay that completes the package. Additionally, Sapoznik commissioned
noted illustrator R. Crumb to create the cover art for the box set.
"Charlie Poole (1892-1931) was the prototypical
rough-and-tumble, hard-living Ė and prematurely dying Ė country
performer," Sapoznik writes. "Like Jimmie Rodgers and Hank
Williams, he sang his life, and his fans idolized him for it. But the
recordings collected here reveal something far more profound: Charlie
Pooleís role as the patron saint of modern country music."
AINíT TALKINí TO ME: CHARLIE POOLE AND THE ROOTS OF COUNTRY MUSIC (Columbia/Legacy
1. Shootiní Creek 2. Baltimore Fire 3. Leaving Home 4.
Thereíll Come a Time 5. White House Blues 6. The Highwayman 7. Hungry
Hash House 8. The Letter That Never Came 9. Take A Drink On Me 10. Husband
and Wife Were Angry One Night 11. Rambliní Blues 12. Took My Gal A-Walkiní
13. Old and Only In the Way 14. Donít Let Your Deal Go Down Blues 15.
Bill Mason 16. A Kiss Waltz 17. Flop Eared Mule 18. A Trip to New York
Part 1 19. Sweet Sixteen 20. Write a Letter to My Mother 21. If the River
Was Whiskey 22. Motherís Last Farewell Kiss 23. Milwaukee Blues 24.
Where the Whippoorwill is Whispering Good-night
1. The Girl I Left in Sunny Tennessee 2. Sunny Tennessee
3. The Bulldog Down in Sunny Tennessee 4. Moving Day 5. Itís Moviní
Day 6. Home Sweet, Home 7. Iím the Man That Rode the Mule ĎRound the
World 8. Man That Rode the Mule Around the World 9. Lynchburg Town 10.
Going Down to Lynchburg Town ĖIntro 11. Some One 12. Monkey on a String
13. Monkey on a String 14. Can I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight Mister 15. May
I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister 16. Married Life Blues 17. The
Infanta March 18. Sunset March 19. Iíll Roll In My Sweet Babyís Arms
20. Goodbye Eliza Jane 21. Good-bye Sweet Liza Jane 22. Good-Bye Booze 23.
Goodbye Booze 24. You Ainít Talking To Me 25. You Ainít Talkiní to
1. If I Lose, I Donít Care 2. The Battleship of Maine 3.
Budded Rose 4. Standing By a Window 5. Uncle Daveís Beloved Solo 6. Come
Take a Trip in My Airship 7. I Once Loved a Sailor 8. Dixie Medley from
"Spooning and Ballooning" 9. My Wife, She Has Gone And Left Me
10. My Wife Went Away and Left Me 11. Baby Rose 12. Just Keep Waiting Till
the Good Time Comes 13. Shuffle Feet, Shuffle 14. Coon From Tennessee 15.
Coon From Tennessee 16. On the Banks Of The Kaney 17. Dixie Medley 18.
Southern Medley 19. The Man Who Wrote Home Sweet Home Never Was a Married
Man 20. Sweet Sunny South 21. Take Me Back to the Sweet Sunny South 22.
Oh! Didnít He Ramble 23. He Rambled