Wednesday, November 9, 2016, the day after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Ken Waldman jotted in a notebook, "This guy's going to make George W. look like a statesman" which he soon turned into a sonnet. That led to a flurry of dozens more, enough for a full-length collection that Ridgeway Press released in time for the January 2017 inaugural. That, in turn, led over the next four years to seven more Trump-inspired volumes, a total of almost 650 sonnets. While the majority of the poems in the satiric series are in the voice of the now former president, others are commentary, and one book, Volume 3, is in the voices of imagined residents of 72 countries. Here, for TRUMP SONNETS: VOLUME 8 (THE FINAL FOUR MONTHS), Ken imagines the voices of everyday Americans from all 50 states, from Trump supporters to Trump haters to those more or less in the middle. They're all weighing in from mid September 2020 to January 20, 2021, a time of historic change in America. This is Ken Waldman's nineteenth book (and eighth since early 2020). It's an apt counterpoint to the three TRUMP SONNETS volumes Ridgeway Press has already published in 2021.
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Ken Waldman has drawn on his 30 years in Alaska to produce poems, stories, and fiddle tunes that combine into a performance uniquely his. A former college professor, Waldman has had published six full-length poetry collections, a memoir, a children's book, and has released nine CDs that mix old-time Appalachian-style string-band music with original poetry. Since 1995 he's toured full-time, performing at some of the nation's leading universities, festivals, arts centers, and clubs.