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A Gringo Like Me
Jennifer L. Knox

November 2007
Trade Paper, Second Edition
80 pp. | $15.00



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Borrowing its title from an Ennio Morricone ditty in the spaghetti western Gunfight at Red Sands, Jennifer L. Knox’s A Gringo Like Me contains poems at once raucous and sexy, tender and high. In favorites such as “Hot Ass Poem,” “Cruising for Prostitutes,” and “Chicken Bucket,” Knox’s speakers appear ornery, hickish, undereducated, misogynist, or worse, but each quirky character manages to elucidate a truth we’re better off knowing, even if we’d rather forget it. At other times, Knox’s lyrical “I” is downright pretty; in poems like “A Common American Name” and “Freckles” she charms.

Knox has collected dramatic monologues, personal lyrics, and even plays together in a single energetic volume for a genuinely surprising debut. Between the poles of her unique range, Knox straddles and tames what she may yet prove to be an artificial divide in American poetry: she’s a former slam champion, but also a three-time contributor to The Best American Poetry; she’s hilarious and performative on stage, but also deeply intellectual and formally in control. In A Gringo Like Me, Knox roughrides her muse at full gallop, shouting obscene slogans, bits of jokes, and sweet nothings at the top of her lungs along the way.

All three of Jennifer's books are available from Bloof. (Check out the bundle deal here.)

Jennifer L. Knox was born in Lancaster, California — where absolutely anything can be made into a bong. Her poems have appeared in the anthologies The Best American Poetry (1997, 2003 and 2006), Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to Present, Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books, and The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present. She has taught poetry writing at New York University and Hunter College, and is available for children’s parties, séances, and tradeshow booth demonstrations. For even more specious information, see

Praise for A Gringo Like Me

In this striking, idiosyncratic first book, Jennifer Knox speaks from a deep immersion in American popular culture, both relishing the kitsch and clutter that surrounds us and seeing through it to a terrifying core. If Jeff Koons and R. Crumb collaborated on a book of poems, it might look something like this.

—Mark Doty

Jennifer L. Knox’s poems are sexy, surprising and funny, and they give fresh proof that (in Blake’s words) exuberance is beauty.

—David Lehman

These poems are sharp in perceptive insight, with an ability to use narrative, image and felt-life together in one purposeful whole. This is a real strength, hard to describe but readily perceived. Knox’s range of tones is wide; she can move a reader to reflection, or empathy, or discovery, or even, at will and blessedly, to laughter. I’ve not ever met an imagination quite like hers—even when preposterous, without aggression, and inventive without whimsy.

—Marie Ponsot

“In her first go, this poet has given us one ‘hot ass book ass’ to admire for a good long time.”

—Southeast Review

“Knox’s first book, A Gringo Like Me, reads more like Richard Pryor with a MFA. But for all the blue humor, there’s real craft on display…. Knox has the ability to take a ridiculous situation and tell it in such a way that it seems real…. [She] doesn’t back off, doesn’t blink.”


“Because she makes it look so easy, it’s easy for the casual reader to ignore the strength and grace in the lines of Jennifer L. Knox’s A Gringo Like Me, as she carries us from one fresh image to the next. By the second read, it grows clear that a deep understanding of form and prosody underlies what are crafted to resemble poems of loose spontaneity.”

—The Columbia Journal of American Studies

“Only a couple of times a year do I truly get excited about a book of poetry. Jennifer L. Knox’s A Gringo Like Me is one of these rare gems. While reading it I kept thinking, I can’t believe this is poetry.”


Also Available from Bloof:

Drunk by Noon

The Mystery of the
Hidden Driveway