Sundown at the Redneck Carnival (Paperback)
John Dorsey's book is a tribute to small town life. He carefully dissects the lives of his characters to find the crossroads where dreams were thwarted, and how the survivors of these lost dreams manage to carry on anyway, sometimes as though they don't even know how close they came to escaping the bear trap of smoky bars and bar fights and the endless cycle of pregnancy and childrearing. Each inhabitant of these poems is treated with delicate dignity, leaving you with the feeling that you've met each and every one of these characters at some point in your own life, or may have even been in one of two of these poems yourself.
Holly Day, author of INTO THE CRACKS
John Dorsey is one of my favorite living poets - clear minute particulars and broken-hearted honesty. Generous empathetic outlook for our hardened times.
Marc Olmsted, author of DON'T HESITATE: KNOWING ALLEN
There's a bleakness to the landscape of John Dorsey's characters. The clouds are always low. Someone is always scraping together money for a cheeseburger or a pint of wine. Despite that, the landscape is livable because the cheeseburgers are tasty and the wine quenches a thirst. His characters know that "painting flowers with a closed fist / lacks imagination." Reading this fine collection is like coming upon a magical "tar paper shack / full of poems / & beehives / & music."
Mike James, author of Leftover Distances