How did one of America’s most gifted fabulists come to write a collection of poetry? For thirty years, Ron Carlson has joked about writing one poem a year, and to look for his book of them in 2012. The joke came true: Room Service: Poems, Meditations, Outcries and Remarks is a genre-bending collection of traditional verse, prose poetry, microfiction, and–why not–a play or two, dancing easily from the lyrical to the surreal to the comical, capturing the long sweep of life’s simple necessities and small triumphs. Brimming with Carlson’s signature good humor, these pieces were written over many years in many places, and are unified, as befits a first book of poetry, by hope. Room Service reminds us why poetry is necessary, and will leave you wondering what took him so long.