Bill Knott (poet)

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Bill Knott
Bill Knott.jpg
Born William Kilborn Knott
(1940-02-17)February 17, 1940
Carson City, United States
Died March 12, 2014(2014-03-12) (aged 73)
Occupation Writer, poet
Nationality American

William Kilborn Knott (17 February 1940 – 12 March 2014) was an American poet.

Life[edit]

Born in Carson City, Michigan, US, Knott received his MFA from Norwich University and studied with John Logan in Chicago.[1]

His first collection of poems, The Naomi Poems: Corpse and Beans, was published in 1968 under the name Saint Geraud, a fictional persona whose backstory included a suicide two years prior to the publishing.[2][3] The Naomi Poems was well received and brought him to the attention of such poets as James Wright, who called him an "unmistakable genius."[4]

Knott taught at Emerson College for more than 25 years, published many books of poetry, and was awarded the Iowa Poetry Prize and a Guggenheim fellowship.[5]

Work[edit]

Early in his career, Knott was noted for writing unusually short poems, some as short as one line, and untitled.[6] Later he became interested in metrical verse forms and syllabics. He was not a believer in poetic "branding" and throughout his career refused to restrict himself to one particular school or style of writing. His poetry's subjects, themes and tones were also wide-ranging. His work often displayed a wry, self-deprecating sense of humor, and he was critical of what he saw as an epidemic of humorlessness in contemporary American poetry.[7] Poets who cite him as an influence include Thomas Lux, Mary Karr, Stephen Dobyns, Denise Duhamel, and Denis Johnson.[7] One of Johnson's novels, Already Dead: A California Gothic, was inspired by Knott's "Poem Noir."[8]

Knott was also a visual artist, known for giving away booklets of his poetry with hand-painted covers.[9]

Bibliography[edit]

Books published by Bill Knott include:[10][11]

He also collaborated on a novel with James Tate, Lucky Darryl (Release Press, 1977). ISBN 978-0913722107

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Obituaries William Kilborn Knott". gephartfuneralhome.com. 
  2. ^ Adam Travis (2005). "An Interview with Bill Knott". Retrieved January 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ Saint Geraud, Foreword by Paul Carroll (1968). The Naomi Poems: Corpse and Beans. Chicago: Big Table Publishing Company. pp. 6–14. 
  4. ^ Wright, James (2008). A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright. Wesleyan University Press. p. 424. ISBN 9780819568724. 
  5. ^ Marquard, Bryan (March 31, 2014). "Bill Knott, 74; widely admired as poet, Emerson professor". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Knott, Bill. "COLLECTED SHORT POEMS 1960-2008". billknottarchive.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Arnold, Robert (June 2006). "An Interview with Bill Knott". Memorious. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Johnson, Denis (1998). "Author's Note". Already Dead: A California Gothic. Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0060929091. It is...a particular pleasure to thank the poet Bill Knott, from whose genius springs the plot of this tale. 
  9. ^ Cotter, John (2011). "From the Archives: Two From Saturnalia Books". Open Letters Monthly. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Hamilton, Ian (1996). The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 279. 
  11. ^ "Books of the poet: Bill Knott". PoemHunter. Retrieved 2007-04-13. 

External links[edit]