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.
Al Ortolani's poetry has appeared in journals such as Rattle, Prairie Schooner, and Tar River Poetry. Ghost Sign, a collaborative work, released in 2017 from Spartan Press, was designated a Kansas Notable Book. His other books include ON THE CHICOPEE SPUR, PAPER BIRDS DON'T FLY, and WAVING MUSTARD IN SURRENDER, all from NYQ Books. Ortolani is the Manuscript Editor for Woodley Press in Topeka and directs a memoir writing project for Vietnam veterans across Kansas in association with the Library of Congress and the Kansas Humanities Council. He has recently retired after 43 years of teaching. He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife Sherri.Author City: LENEXA, KS USA