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story.lead_photo.caption Submitted photo FEATURED POET: Vagabond poet and songwriter Ken Blair will be featured at this week's Wednesday Night Poetry.

Vagabond poet and songwriter Ken Blair will be featured this week at Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee+Tea, 110 Central Ave.

The regular open mic session for all poets begins at 6:30 p.m. Blair will perform at 7 p.m. followed by a second round of open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Three years ago, Blair retired from a 30-year career as a nurse. Since then, he and his wife, Vicki, have lived in a trailer, traveling around America. They stop from time to time at parks where they do volunteer work to pay for their camping fees. For the past three months, they have lived at Gulpha Gorge Campground in Hot Springs National Park. Up until the partial shutdown of the federal government, they had worked at the visitor center in the Fordyce Bath House.

Blair has also been doing volunteer work in the community presenting musical programs at various nursing homes in the Hot Springs area. He has also been playing his guitar and working as a street musician in downtown Hot Springs.

"I like to immerse myself in the communities where we stop for a while," he said in a news release. In a couple of weeks, they plan to leave Hot Springs and travel to Big Bend National Park in south Texas.

When playing music he goes by the stage name "Mister Blair." As a poet, he is known as "Cracker Fox" -- a name one of his grandchildren gave him. His music garnered him a first place prize in a regional competition for "The Voice" and his poetry has won a few Celtic spoken word events. "I work hard to make what I do different or at least differentiated," he said.

Blair started writing rhymes when he was a teenager. "Mostly love poems and social criticism. Basically, I'm a storyteller about whatever catches my attention -- sort of like a magpie."

His literary and musical inspirations include W.H. Auden, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.

Email for more information.

Entertainment on 01/08/2019

Print Headline: Vagabond poet, songwriter featured at next Wednesday Night Poetry

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