Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ronald Koertge  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Audience: Young Adult; Children; Children;

Born: 1940 in Olney, Illinois


-- Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/RonKoertge
-- Twitter -- https://twitter.com/ronkoertge
-- Website -- https://ronkoertge.com/
-- Ronald Koertge on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ronald+koertge


Illinois Connection

Koertge was born in Olney.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ron Koertge teaches at Hamline University in their low-residency MFA program for Children’s Writing. A prolific writer, he has published widely in such seminal magazines as Kayak and Poetry Now. He is a contributor to many anthologies, such as Billy Collins’s ''Poetry 180'' and Kirby & Hamby’s ''Seriously Funny''. Koertge also writes fiction for teenagers, including many novels-in-verse. All were honored by the American Library Association and two received PEN awards. He is the recipient of grants from the NEA and the California Arts Council, and has poems in two volumes of Best American Poetry. His poem, Negative Space, was created into a film short and nominated for an 2018 Academy Award - for Best Animated Short. Koertge currently resides in South Pasadena, California.


Published Works

    Books for Teens
  • The Boogeyman, Norton, 1980
  • The Boy in the Moon, Little, Brown, 1990
  • Mariposa Blues, Little, Brown, 1991
  • The Harmony Arms, Joy Street Books/Avon, 1992
  • Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright, A Novel, Orchard Books, 1994
  • Heart Of The City, Orchard Books 1998
  • Stoner and Spaz, Candlewick, 2003, 2011
  • The Arizona Kid, Joy Street, 1988, 2005
  • Where the Kissing Never Stops, Atlantic Monthly, 1986, 2005
  • Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, Candlewick Press, 2003
  • Margaux With An X, Candlewick, 2006
  • Deadville, Candlewick, 2008
  • Strays, Candlewick, 2010
  • Boy Girl Boy, HMH, 2007
  • Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs, Candlewick, 2012
  • Now Playing Stoner and Spaz 2, Candlewick, 2011
  • Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses, Candlewick, 2012
  • Coaltown Jesus, Candlewick, 2013Poetry
  • The Father Poems, Sumac Press, 1973
  • Meat: Cherry’s Market Diary, Mag Press, 1973
  • The Hired Nose, Mag Press, 1974
  • Cheap Thrills, Wormwood Review Press, 1976
  • Men Under Fire, Duck Down Press, 1976
  • 12 Photographs of Yellowstone, Red Hill Press, 1976
  • How to Live on Five Dollars a Week, VPC Press, 1977
  • Sex Object, Little Caesar Press, 1977
  • The Jockey Poems, Maelstrom Press, 1980
  • Fresh Meat, Kenmore Press, 1981
  • Life on the Edge of the Continent, University of Arkansas Press, 1982
  • High School Dirty Poems, Red Wind, 1991
  • Making Love to Roget`s Wife, Poems New and Selected, University of Arkansas Press, 1997
  • Geography of The Forehead, University of Arkansas Press, 2002
  • Fever, Red Hen Press, 2006
  • Indigo, Red Hen Press, 2009
  • And Through the Woods, World Parade Books, 2008
  • The Ogre's Wife, Red Hen Press, 2013
  • Sex World, Red Hen Press, 2014
  • Vampire Planet, Red Hen Press, 2016


Selected Titles At Your Library

Where the kissing never stops /
ISBN: 0380717964. OCLC Number:

Avon Books,. New York :. [1993], ©1986.

While trying to cope with his father's death, his mother's new job as a stripper, and his own libido, high-school junior Walker meets a new girl who makes life seem pretty wonderful after all.

The Arizona kid /
ISBN: 0763626953. OCLC Number:

Candlewick,. Cambridge, Mass. :. 2005.

Sixteen-year-old Billy spends the summer with his gay uncle in Tucson and works at a racetrack, where he falls in love with an outspoken horse exerciser named Cara Mae.

Making love to Roget's wife :
ISBN: 155728461X. OCLC Number:

University of Arkansas Press,. Fayetteville, Ark. :. 1997.

In plain, unpretentious language, with brutal honesty, Ron Koertge can meld violence, love, human ugliness, joy, and modern depravity into a short lyric that makes us laugh out loud or socks us in the gut. His images arrive in giant clown shoes - cigars the size of Florida, the plastic man's counter-length arms - or neatly packaged in carefully observed detail, as he writes of the "black little hearts" of ants or an ape's "dark and leathery breast." Through every poem, there runs a constant and sincere humanity, a voice that laughs at itself, often goads us a bit, but always stuns and enlightens us when we discover something of ourselves gambling with the crowd at the racetrack, driving from the parking lot of the Mexican restaurant, or shambling with the distraught parent leaving the hospital.

100 things to write about /
ISBN: 0673982394. OCLC Number:

Longman,. [New York?] :. ©1999.

The Arizona kid /
ISBN: 0763626953. OCLC Number:

Candlewick,. Cambridge, Mass. :. 2005.

Sixteen-year-old Billy spends the summer with his gay uncle in Tucson and works at a racetrack, where he falls in love with an outspoken horse exerciser named Cara Mae.

High school dirty poems :
ISBN: 0962284769. OCLC Number:

Red Wind Books,. Los Angeles :. 1991.

Geography of the forehead /
ISBN: 1557286116. OCLC Number:

University of Arkansas Press,. Fayetteville :. 2000.

Stoner & Spaz /
ISBN: 0763657573. OCLC Number:

Candlewick Press,. Cambridge, MA :. 2002.

A troubled youth with cerebral palsy struggles toward self-acceptance with the help of a drug-addicted young woman.

Where the kissing never stops /
ISBN: 0763626961. OCLC Number:

Candlewick Press,. Cambridge, Mass. :. 2005.

While trying to cope with his father's death, his mother's new job as a stripper, and his own libido, high-school junior Walker meets a new girl who makes life seem pretty wonderful after all.

The ogre's wife :
ISBN: 1597097233. OCLC Number:

. .

Ron Koertge wants to do nothing but delight. Armed with his trademark wit, he introduces readers to Little Red Riding Hood all grown up with a fondness for salsa and chips, explores the thorny relationship of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, spies a Trojan pony and the children it bamboozles, and offers an alternate reading to the Icarus story. He meets Walt Whitman on the set of an X-rated movie, attends his gardener's funeral, and goes to his beloved race track. Seminal figures from pop mythology speak up in unexpected ways: The Beast, transformed by Beauty, hints that his new life isn't exactly what he expected. Gretel enrolls in night school, the ogre's wife from the beanstalk yarn writes a heart-rending story on her cutting board, and a group of fourth-graders on a field trip encounters Death. Occasionally setting aside free verse, there are couplets about a Bette Davis movie, a sestina about routine blood tests, a villanelle set in a topless bar, and a set of haibun that chronicles an entire day. Reverend Ike and John Lennon said, "Whatever gets you through the night." This book will do just that and carry you right on in to the next day, guaranteed.

Margaux with an X /
ISBN: 0763626791. OCLC Number:

Candlewick Press,. Cambridge, Mass. :. 2006.

Margaux, known as a "tough chick" at her Los Angeles high school, makes a connection with Danny, who, like her, struggles with the emotional impact of family violence and abuse.

Deadville /
ISBN: 0763635804. OCLC Number:

Candlewick Press,. Cambridge, Mass. :. 2008.

While visiting an injured classmate in the hospital, sixteen-year-old Ryan, who is trying to come to terms with his sister's death from cancer, meets a young patient who claims to be able to see into the world where the dead live.

Strays /
ISBN: 0763643777. OCLC Number:

Candlewick Press,. Cambridge, Mass. :. 2010, ©2007.

Recently orphaned, sixteen-year-old Ted O'Connor is sent to a foster home.

Shakespeare makes the playoffs /
ISBN: 0763658529. OCLC Number:

Candlewick Press,. Somerville, Mass. :. 2010.

Fourteen-year-old Kevin Boland, poet and first baseman, is torn between his cute girlfriend Mira and Amy, who is funny, plays Chopin on the piano, and is also a poet.

Now playing :
ISBN: 0763650811. OCLC Number:

Candlewick Press,. Somerville, Mass. :. 2011.

High schooler Ben Bancroft, a budding filmmaker with cerebral palsy, struggles to understand his relationship with drug-addict Colleen while he explores a new friendship with A.J., who shares his obsession with movies and makes a good impression on Ben's grandmother.

Lies, knives and girls in red dresses /
ISBN: 0763644064. OCLC Number:

Candlewick Press,. Somerville, Mass. :. 2012.

Free-verse reveals true stories behind well-known fairy tales, some reset in modern times, as a strung-out match girl sells CDs to drug users, Little Red Riding Hood admits that she wanted to know what it is like to be swallowed whole, and Cinderella's stepsisters are duped.

Coaltown Jesus /
ISBN: 0763662283. OCLC Number:

. .

"Walker shouldn't have been so surprised to find Jesus standing in the middle of his bedroom. After all, he'd prayed for whoever was up there to help him, and to help his mom, who hadn't stopped crying since Noah died two months ago. But since when have prayers actually been answered? And since when has Jesus been so irreverent?"--Amazon.com.

Vampire planet /
ISBN: 1597097608. OCLC Number:

Red Hen Press,. Pasadena, CA :. 2016.

"Ron Koertge wants to do nothing but delight. Armed with wit and brains, he introduces readers to Dr. Frankenstein's frustrated fiancee and gives an alternate reading to the Bible story about Lot's nameless wife. He rues the loss of a favorite pair of underpants, attends a bachelor party where Mr. Magoo makes an appearance, and suggests what cheerleaders will be like in the future. Bashful, one of the seven dwarfs, spills the beans about Snow White. Death comes home from a business trip to his favorite meal, and Epeius--who designed the Trojan horse--turns out to be a better architect than a warrior. Saint George muses about girls, and on her honeymoon Mrs. Mark Trail wishes her husband would take his eyes off that moose get down to business. In a sestina, Ron probes the psyches of the Hardy boys. A half dozen charming couplets tell about an experience at a local car wash, and a domestic reveals the secret life of clothes. Like Reverend Ike and John Lennon said, "Whatever gets you through the night"--This book will do that and carry you right into the next day. Guaranteed"--

Sex world :
ISBN: 1597095443. OCLC Number:

. .

Presents a collection of flash fiction also known as sudden fiction, micro-fiction, and postcard fiction--short stories meant to be read in a hurry.

Indigo :
ISBN: 1597094676. OCLC Number:

Red Hen Press,. Los Angeles :. ©2009.

Fever :
ISBN: 1597090166. OCLC Number:

Red Hen Press,. Los Angeles, Calif. :. ©2006.

Life on the edge of the continent :
ISBN: 0938626043. OCLC Number:

University of Arkansas Press,. Fayetteville :. 1982.

Fresh meat /
ISBN: 0918298067. OCLC Number:

Kenmore Press,. Winter Haven, Fla. :. ©1981.

How to live on five dollars a week, etc. :
ISBN: 091266407X. OCLC Number:

VPC Press,. Los Angeles :. ©1977.

Men under fire /
ISBN: 0916918025. OCLC Number:

Duck Down Press,. Fallon, Nev. :. ©1976.


Awards

American Library Association- Best Books for Young Adults, and many others.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Contact Information

John Hawkins and Assoc. William Reiss 71 W. 23rd St., No. 1600 New York City, New York 10010