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Ken Waldman Workshop & Performance

February 27 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Free Workshop & Performance

So You Want to Go Places With Your Art

This is a fun, inspiring workshop for artists of all disciplines, a workshop of surprises, and is especially recommended for writers who want to be published for the first time, or published more often, or published in larger, more competitive venues. It’s also recommended for musicians who want to perform, or record, for the first time, or who want to go from smaller venues in Grand Rapids to larger ones locally or nearby, or to, say, Duluth, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond. And how do you get people with blogs or podcasts, or radio DJs, to pay attention to your music? It’s the same for performers in other disciplines, whether theater or dance. And it’s the same for visual artists. How can you expand your reach so more people are aware of your work?

No matter their discipline or experience, attendees will leave with concrete ideas what they might put into practice to take their art further. They’ll also be taking home a few handouts.

The workshop will begin with an introduction—Ken Waldman is open to creatives of all kinds so he’ll need to see who all’s there. There will be several, short writing exercises to further determine where we are now with our work, and where we want to be. It’s an interactive workshop, and Waldman will also be sharing resources. Though this is a one-off workshop, Waldman will not only invite participants to stay in touch with him as seems right, but encourage participants to stay in touch with each other. In his many years of leading workshops, he’s found we’re all equals in the art-making—we’re all striving to make something new and good, and can always learn from each other.

Ken Waldman was 30 years old when he moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1985 to attend the MFA program there as a fiction writer. He’d never written a poem—never had any work published anywhere though had written several short stories—and had only started playing fiddle, badly, five years earlier, and was still, technically, a beginner. Ten years later–after first graduating his program, then three years working as a tenure-track assistant professor as he continued playing lots of fiddle, and then enduring a long illness time and protracted convalescence–he became “Alaska’s Fiddling Poet.”

For more than 25 years now, he’s made a living as a freelance writer, musician, performer, and touring artist. He began freelancing in 1995, when living in Juneau, Alaska, where every event out of town meant either getting on a boat or a plane. In 1998 he moved to Anchorage—Alaska’s commercial hub—and then in 2001 he drove out of state to pursue more opportunities. Some appearances include the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Dodge Poetry Festival, The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, and the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, Australia, and hundreds more events in the widest range of venues. He’s also been a visiting writer at over 100 colleges and universities, a visiting artist at over 250 schools in 35 states, and has led workshops from Alaska to Maine. His essay, “How I Make a Living in Poetry” was published in the September/October 2015 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (and can be seen right here).

Since 2000, Ken Waldman has also had published sixteen full-length poetry collections, a memoir about his life as a touring artist, a creative writing manual, a kids’ book, and a novel. His twelve CDs include two for children, and over a hundred of his own compositions. More than 400 of his poems and stories have been in literary journals. To learn more about Waldman, visit https://www.kenwaldman.com.


February 27
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Categories:


Klockow Brewing Company
36 SE 10th St
Grand Rapids,MN55744United States
(218) 999-7229
View Venue Website


Reif Arts Council
(218) 327-5780
View Organizer Website