Poetry. In ON THE CHICOPEE SPUR, the haibun form allows Ortolani to speak plainly in the bread of prose, and then slice the loaf with haiku. It's the form Basho used to highlight his journeys across Japan in the seventeenth century. Many of the haiku are not written in the traditional 5-7-5 syllable format, but instead, speak tersely in the spirit of the haiku, experimental, American. Some of the subject matter comes from the immediacy of the hospice experience, others from memories and daydreams along the way.
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