Conditions and Cures
About Conditions and Cures
- In the spring of 1992, as a professor at Nome Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Ken Waldman fell ill with debilitating joint pains. Recovery took several years, and ultimately meant first a leave of absence, and then resignation, from his teaching job. In the aftermath, Waldman began writing about health issues, his own as well as others. Sometimes reverent, sometimes not, what you'll find is, literally, a collection of conditions and cures: from stuttering, to dyslexia, to eating disorders, to matters of the heart, to a stunning 17-poem sonnet sequence of comedy poems that takes a page from Norman Cousins' experience that laughter is a way through the pain.
Praise For Conditions and Cures
"Full of poems that stand alone as consummate accomplishments, Conditions and Cures nevertheless coheres as a book about life-and-death verities, strategies for survival or triumph or at least coping gracefully. The comic is one of those strategies, and Ken Waldman is often at his most hilarious when he’s addressing subjects another poet might murder with solemnity. In addition, he frequently engages with demanding forms like pantoums, villanelles, sestinas and sonnets, submitting to their guidance but never losing his independence. The secret of such a trick is his ear: a professional musician, Waldman swears final allegiance to the body of our language, its sonorities and rhythms, to its possibilities as song—a co-strategy with the comic. The book ends with the image of a shed snake skin, announcing this poet’s faith in loss as a beginning, in transformation as the essence of any life fully lived. Slip into the skin that is this book Waldman has shed and marvel at its fit."
About the Author
Twenty-year Alaska resident and former college professor, Ken Waldman has made his living since 1994 touring as Alaska's Fiddling Poet. Combining old-time Appalachian-style fiddling, original poetry, and Alaska-set storytelling, Ken has performed at such venues as the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, as well as at numerous universities, arts centers, and music halls throughout North American. Conditions and Cures will be Ken's fifth collection of poetry, in addition to: Nome Poems (West End Press, 2000), To Live on This Earth (West End Press, 2002) and And Shadow Remained (from Pavement Saw Press, 2005). His five CDs mix poetry and string-band music. For more information about Ken, visit www.kenwaldman.com.