Video: Toni appearing on Write Action Spotlight


Toni Ortner lives in Vermont. She has had 26 books published by small presses. The most recent are Daybook I and II by Deerbrook Editions and Daybook III by Ardent Writer Press. Read More
 

Upcoming Books

Daybook IV Flying Home will be published by Deerbrook Editions in 2022 as well as Daybook V Change of Seasons by Ardent Writer Press, then Shadows and Silhouettes by Kelsay Books.

Blue Lyrics  will be published by Adelaide Press is being released in late December.

Recent Books

Blue Lyrics

Blue Lyrics

“In her 26th book, Blue Lyrics, Toni Ortner---- through free-verse lyrics as well as tightly crafted prose poems in which she addresses and acknowledges Picasso, Van Gogh, Brueghel, Virginia Woolf, Hemingway, Adrienne Rich, and Diane Wakoski—hits all the big themes:...

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Daybook V: Change of Season

Daybook V: Change of Season

Toni Ortner's Daybook V, Change of Season, documents the daily thoughts of the Vermont poet and writer who reflects on life in the times of COVID. Uplifting but tinted with the bleakness of the era, Change of Season, blends both poetry and prose in her diary of...

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Daybook IV: Flying Home

Daybook IV: Flying Home

Toni Ortner is a truth teller, even when it hurts. She leaves the reader amazed at her ability to vividly describe the challenges of everyday life and the need for the imagination as a curative. Ortner takes her inspiration from Virginia Woolf ’s claim that a diary...

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Daybook III: Morning is Long Since Gone

Daybook III: Morning is Long Since Gone

Toni Ortner’s Daybook III, Morning Is Long Since Gone infuses her inner life’s dreamscape, her singing tree with realities that scream over the land. Ortner’s surreal meditations in corridors persistent with memory evoke a world of redemption shattered in the ashes of...

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Daybook II

Daybook II

Prose poems on memory, inner and outer landscapes, musings of all kinds, lyrical but rooted in the present tense, interwoven with observations, mysterious thresholds between reality and the imagination, even imagination as reality, with a blending of past present and...

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Daybook I

Daybook I

From the Back Cover The writing in Toni Ortner’s Daybook I is lyrical but rooted in present tense, observations deeply felt. It consists of spiritual musings, political musings, musings about Life. The writing is unselfconscious, but finely hewn. Many of the passages,...

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Recent Poems

Chanting

How did it begin and when. At first I was alone wandering down the street looking for something. Then came the drums the shouts the horses the men. It was a big parade and everyone marching was shouting and the crowd was the one man and the one man the crowd. They...

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Jumper I at the World Trade Center

If you saw me at all you must have seen me falling as a dark image against a white sky legs scissor out and wondered if you imagined me or if I existed like you but was falling through thousands of feet of air as if I were swimming towards the pavement through water...

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Change

You cannot find the word you need. The sun is shining/ your shades are down. When you wake /you want to sleep.   The afternoon light is dirtied with indifference Nights filled to the brim with grief.

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For the 10 year old girl from Syria

The mirror stopped laughing when the bullets shattered the window. Shards of glass flew through the startled air. Familiar voices stopped when the wires were cut. Description fled in dust. It was the end of metaphor. You huddled on the floor in the dark arms of...

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For Earl Thompson (Yakima Indian nation)

He tried to see red and blue horses galloping across a plain, but the horses would not come. His wife was crying by his side. He thought if he saw them he would live to see another day. It was a full moon night in April, and the willows were about to bud. He tried to...

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For the gardener who is gone

The dried stalks of the sunflowers are snapped in half, and the wooden slats of the porch are split and broken. Fake spider webs are draped across the columns of the porch, and a plastic skeleton hangs from the branch of a tree. The front door is half open but blocked...

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