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"Fred Rosenblum is not going to let us off easy. He’s the anti-romantic — a blue-collar poet and bus driver’s son with an affinity for the Beats’ drug-induced poetic style. He saw combat in Vietnam, returned home and took to the road, destined for Alaska and positions as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat, and a day laborer at the Sitka Pulp Mill — jobs that would sustain him when he wasn’t stoned out of his mind. Fred’s Alaska is not the nature writer’s Alaska, forcing us to look at how things were in this country during the 60’s and 70’s. It’s a road trip worth taking but don’t expect to be comforted — do expect to be unable to put this book down."

— Tom Sexton, former Poet Laureate of Alaska whose latest collection is entitled Cummiskey Alley


Review by Bill McCloud at The Veteran

Review at Cholla Needle Arts

Review  in Cirque Literary Journal (January 2022, pp170-171)

About the Author

Fred Rosenblum grew up in SoCal during the 50s – 60s, a blue-collar kid and one of the“television children fed,” via a Motorola, a smorgasbord of baloney and American cheese. And while Fred’s father was a bus driver and a Freemason, and his mother held a station in the Eastern Star at the Chula Vista chapter — they’d see it all in black and white ... until, February of 1968, when color seemed affordable, and real blood became red. Without the Cronkite narrative, Vietnam presented their nineteen year old with an eyewitness account of the TET Offensive — acting as security for a convoy running supplies into the ruins of Hue City. The ensuing 13 month stretch spent ‘humping’ the mountainous jungled terrain of the RVN’s I Corps sector would impact Fred and his present and future family’s lives on this planet like no other event, historical or otherwise. It would color his every endeavor, in the workplace and in the hearth. The struggle to forget never ends, but with time, harsh realities tend to wither somewhat. Moreover, and arguably cathartic, four books of poetry have been gleaned from this struggle. In 2011, following a 36 year odyssey in Alaska and the Northwest, Fred returned to his hometown of San Diego, CA with his wife and muse of too many years, where they now enjoy a very therapeutic existence ‘in the warm California Sun.’


As I read the poems in Fred Rosenblum’s Tramping Solo, I found myself as one of the “Beavers” who had grown up with TV westerns and army life (be it under Sgts. Bilko or Saunders), looking at a life’s journey that might have been mine. In poem after poem he takes us to places most of us will never have the need to go, whether it is as a deckhand on an Alaskan salmon seiner, or as a jack-of-all-trades...master of none in a sawmill…”

— Tim Calaway , author of The Green of Scullymist

“Reminiscent and transcendent of Jack London, these vivid poems are still-burning coals drawn from a buried past, exuding the language, fear, regret, and wounded hope of the 1970s. The vignettes lived in these pages span the momentous to the mundane, but Fred Rosenblum’s voice is always loud and clear.”

­— Christopher Fields, editor, Neologism Poetry Journal Massachusetts