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Hansel and Gretel Get the Word on the Street contains poems written over several years. Each poem is like a chalk mark on a blackboard. Much like the teacher who has leaned one too many times against the chalk tray, Ortolani wears his poems on the back of pants, his shirt sleeves, his jacket elbows. These poems represent connections to others, sometimes dark, sometimes light, often quirky. A fellow teacher, and mentor to the poet, once said that one of the most difficult measures of the career public school teacher is their ability to stay positive and elevated by interest, if not always in the subject matter, then in the hand raised outside of the T zone.
Note: Hansel and Gretel Get the Word on the Street is included free along with the fall issue to all Rattle subscribers. Visit our purchase page to subscribe for just $25/year.
Ships September 1st!
Other Poems by Al Ortolani
About the Author
Al Ortolani’s newest collection of poetry, On the Chicopee Spur, was released from New York Quarterly Books in 2018. How Wally Lost His Thumb and the Boy Scouts Became Cannibals, a mix of old and new “Wally poems,” also appeared from Spartan Press the same year. A previous collection, Ghost Sign, co-authored with J.T. Knoll, Adam Jameson, and Melissa Fite Johnson, was selected as a Kansas Notable Book for 2017. Ortolani is the manuscript editor for Woodley Press, and has directed a memoir writing project for Vietnam veterans across Kansas in association with the Library of Congress and Humanities Kansas. After 43 years of teaching English in public schools, he currently lives a life without bells and fire drills in the Kansas City area. (web)
Cover art by Jacque Forsher (web)
Cover price: $6.00
Chapbook: 40 pages
Size: 6″ x 9″