Poetry. Al Ortolani's poems in PAPER BIRDS DON'T FLY are a mix of small town memories and present day realities. They share both humor and sorrow, longing and contentment, often in the irony of a single experience. Many are set in Southeastern Kansas, a geographical region rich in the texture of its free-thinking people. The poems pinch the mundane arm. They bleed with the colors of everyday experience. PAPER BIRDS DON'T FLY is as accessible to the reader as wind blowing autumn leaves or hedge trees intertwined with barbed wire, demarcating a bean field.
Although born in Huntington, New York, Al Ortolani has spent most of his life in eastern Kansas. Growing up in the college town of Pittsburg, Kansas, he moved to the Kansas City area where he currently teaches high school English. He also taught English at Pittsburg State University as an adjunct. His poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as Rattle, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, Tar River Poetry, and the New York Quarterly. He has published six collections of poetry. His book, WAVING MUSTARD IN SURRENDER (NYQ Books, 2014), was short-listed for the Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award from Binghamton University. As the son of a coach and Olympic athletic trainer, he spent much of his childhood under the tutelage of college-aged football and baseball players. That said, his mother read to him from Longfellow, and his father took time after a long drive to point out the birthplace of Walt Whitman.Author City: FACTORYVILLE, PA USA