Jennifer L. Knox

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Jennifer L. Knox
Born Lancaster, California
Alma mater University of Iowa,
New York University

Jennifer L. Knox (*1968) is an American poet.


Born in Lancaster, California, she received her BA from the University of Iowa, and her MFA in poetry writing from New York University. She has taught poetry writing at Hunter College and New York University.[1]

Her work appeared in Gulf Coast,[2] zine scene.[3] Her poetry has appeared in the following anthologies: The Best American Poetry (2011, 2006, 2003 and 1997); The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present; Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to Present and Free Radicals: American Poets before Their First Books.

Her first book of poems, A Gringo Like Me, was published in 2005 by Soft Skull Press. A second edition was printed in 2007 by Bloof Books.[4] In addition her second and third books were published by Bloof Books.[4][5]


Jennifer L. Knox grew up in the Mojave Desert. Her father was an accountant and mother, a speech therapist. Her father was from Nova Scotia, and being from Nova Scotia she explains he had a very satirical sense of humor, Nova Scotians share the British love of understated, self-deprecating satire.[6]


Knox names poets Richard Hugo, Denis Johnson, James Galvin, Wallace Stevens and James Tate, and fiction writers Italo Calvino and Kenzaburō Ōe as great influences.[7]


The poetry of Jennifer L. Knox is very bold and real. Her poems are filled with humor, pop culture, and quite frequently, profanity. She delves into the pop culture of modern America today without censorship. Knox makes use of strong diction, hyperboles, and metaphors.

What's striking about Knox's work is that she seems willing to say almost anything, which sounds like it could be self-indulgent but which in her hands turns into a powerful, idiosyncratic account of American culture.[8] She has described her reader as "a man, dressed like a woman, is over 40 but wider than a mile, 9 feet tall, all that, is a Camaro owner ... happily answers all telephone surveys" [9]

"In workshops, my poems were often described as “sarcastic” and “ironic”—but neither label ever made sense to me. I’m not being sarcastic, and irony is, like, The Gift of the Magi, right?"[6] She has since been described to employ Menippean satire.[10]



  • Fat Cats, Skinny Rats
  • "Pimp my Ride". The New Yorker. June 7, 2010. 
  • Between Menus
  • You are a Strategy
  • Baywatch
  • In the Canyons, Hidden Farms
  • The Aqueduct's Up There Somewhere
  • Let's Go Away for Awhile


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Bloof Books
  5. ^ Blackbird Archive
  6. ^ a b [2]
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ [4]
  9. ^ [5]
  10. ^ [6]
  11. ^ John Findura. "Drunk By Noon a review". Jacket 35. Jennifer L. Knox is able to cut through to a large audience because she is writing without an audience in mind, or, more precisely, because she is not limiting herself to any particular audience. 

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