Reading and Signing: Jo McDougall and Al Ortolani
Jo McDougall, author of Daddy’s Money: a Memoir of Farm and Family
Jo McDougall, an Arkansas native, has published five books of poetry, including, most recently, Dirt and Satisfied with Havoc and a 2010 chapbook, Under an Arkansas Sky. Her memoir, Daddy’s Money: a Memoir of Farm and Family, was published in July 2011 by the University of Arkansas Press. McDougall has received awards from the DeWitt Wallace/Reader’s Digest foundation, fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and recently was named to the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame. McDougall’s work has been adapted for film, theatre, an artist’s book, and a song cycle. She and her husband, Charles, live in Leawood, Kansas, with the dogs Starr and Zelda, and Spike, the cat.
Al Ortolani, author of Finding the Edge
Al Ortolani was born in Huntington, New York and grew up in Pittsburg, Kansas. He was educated at Pittsburg State University where he received his B.S. in Education, an M.A. in English and an Ed.S. in Higher Education. He has taught secondary English in Baxter Springs, Pittsburg and Overland Park (Blue Valley), as well as an adjunct at Pittsburg State University. He has worked as a house painter, chimney sweep, antique dealer, juvenile counselor, pony handler, canoeing instructor, gas station attendant and soda jerk. Many of his poems have been inspired by his friends, family and students. He once claimed to have cooked the best bowl of chili in the state of Kansas. Ortolani is a co-editor of The Little Balkans Review. He has performed with White Buffalo Poetry and Song in Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado. His poetry has appeared in the Midwest Quarterly, the New York Quarterly, The Laurel Review, Wilderness, The Quarterly, Cottonwood Review, Coal City Review, The English Journal and many others. His haiku have appeared in numerous journals on four continents. He has published one chapbook, Slow Stirring Spoon, High/Coo Press and two collections of poetry from Woodley Press, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge.