Late Night Talk Show Fantasy & Other Poems
by Jennifer Dotson
48 poems, 84 pages
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-1-952326-03-5
Publisher: Kelsay Books
To Order:


If I were a creative writing teacher, I would make Jennifer Dotson’s new collection
required reading. The poet employs more than eight poetic forms that will delight readers
whether they are new or experienced in poetry. Using something we’re all familiar with:
the late night talk show, Dotson treats fortunate readers to an uncommon range of
creative skill. This collection does more than simply entertain, though entertain it does;
Late Night Talk Show Fantasy & Other Poems, combines history, faith, parenting,
marriage, childhood, and commonsense, to create a volume readers will enjoy and want
to share with friends.


Jennifer Dotson’s poems-as-monologues range from subjects broadly cultural to
intimately personal—say Demeter, Jack and the Beanstalk, and the poet’s trials with
driving lessons. Delivered with self-effacing wit and deft comedic timing, the “talk”
readers encounter here arrives casually if paradoxically with an array of traditional poetic
forms. What’s notable is how transparent such forms appear, each the apposite vessel for
a poem’s chitchat.
—Kevin Stein, Illinois Poet Laureate 2003-2017.

With a “guest list” that includes the Bionic Woman, Dionysus (in crisis) and a teenaged
Jesus, Late Night Talk Show Fantasy is a fun, funny, and insightful collection perfect for
curling up with in bed. Dotson’s poems are often surprising and always accessible,
inviting the reader not just as an observer, but as an engaged participant. In essence, it’s a
pleasure to join in as this “world-famous poet/drinks the champagne/and rides the
—Jan Bottiglieri, author of Everything Seems Significant: the Blade Runner Poems and Alloy.

In Late Night Talk Show Fantasy & Other Poems, poet Jennifer Dotson creatively and
humorously reweaves myths, fairy tales, lives of minor celebrities and advertising
taglines; gets personal with family secrets and driving lesson foibles; and plays skillfully
with rhymes and forms such as the villanelle, Luc Bat and pantoum. In poem after poem,
from prepping for the apocalypse to wearing basic black, Dotson takes us along on a
fantastic romp through her wide range of poetic talents.
—Cynthia Gallaher, author of Epicurean Ecstasy: More Poems About Food, Drink, Herbs & Spices,
and Frugal Poets’ Guide to Life: How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren’t a Poet.


Jennifer Dotson is the founder and program coordinator for Highland Park Poetry. Her
debut poetry collection, Clever Gretel, received the Journal of Modern Poetry First Book
Award and was published by Chicago Poetry Press in 2013. Her poems have appeared in
After Hours, Caravel Literary Arts Journal, DuPage Valley Review, East on Central,
Exact Change Only, Journal of Modern Poetry, Panoplyzine, Poetry Cram, Poetry
and Willow Review. Her works have also appeared in numerous anthologies
including Raising Lilly Ledbetter (Lost Horse Press), Distilled Lives, Volumes 2 & 4
(Illinois State Poetry Society) and A Midnight Snack (Poetic License Press). She
facilitates writing workshops for the Highland Park Public Library’s Library U Program.


Late Night Talk Show Fantasy
by Jennifer Dotson

The World famous poet
chuckles with the late night
talk show host and the two
trade dazzling word play
for the cameras and the
studio audience while

the world famous poet
regales them with her
wacky escapades of
readings at open-mics
in European capital cities
and college campuses
across America on a
never ending tour
promoting her latest
full length book of poetry
that has been translated
into seven languages and
is featured in a film
starring Meryl Streep.

The world famous poet
keeps to herself that it is
neither the paparazzi
nor the inability to enjoy
a restaurant meal without
someone suggesting
what would make a
really great poem that
causes her to tremble and
twitch; it’s the anxiety

that the words will stop
coming at all. Still
the world famous poet
drinks the champagne
and rides the bubbles
of public admiration
for her honest, accessible
verse and for making
poetry popular again
while not alienating
the academic crowd.

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