PENDLETON -- Fiddling poet Ken Waldman will be artist-in-residence at True West, New West, this year's spring Arts and Culture Festival at Blue Mountain Community College.
The weeklong festival begins at 9 a.m. Monday with a performance that introduces Waldman's mix of traditional fiddling, poetry and mostly Alaska-set storytelling. Also, at 7 p.m. Monday in the college's theater he will headline a show that includes Pasco guitarist and fiddler Reade Obern and Johnny Lake, a teacher, writer and storyteller from Eugene.
Monday and Tuesday, Waldman will appear five times on campus. In addition to his first solo set, he'll lead sessions, fiddle in hand, and share poems and stories from some of his published work.
At 11 a.m. Monday, he'll talk about illness, disease and healing.
At 9 a.m. Tuesday, he'll talk about his March 2, 1996, plane crash in rural Alaska.
At 11 a.m. Tuesday, he'll share comic material.
Waldman has written six new books and put out six CDs. A 24-year Alaska resident, Waldman's live performance has been described by Michael Miller, music columnist for The State in Columbia, S.C., like this: "Picture William Carlos Williams behind a dogsled. Walt Whitman jamming with the Carter Family."
For more information about the festival, call Doug Radke at 541-278-5961.
For more information about Waldman, go to www.kenwaldman.com. Or call Ken Waldman at 337-258-5994.