Jennifer L. Knox


Featured in the first-ever New York Times Book Review Poetry issue!

“Knox’s poems hit, with deceptive ease, all the poetic marks a reader could want: intellectual curiosity, emotional impact, beautiful language, surprising revelation and arresting imagery. They’re also genre-bending, dizzying in their versatility.” (read the rest) —Kathleen Rooney, New York Times Book Review 

“I can’t with Ms. Knox. I simply cannot. I can’t fight the way she twists a world I thought I knew into rambunctious and revelatory word disco. I cannot resist the dizzying amount of real that comes blazing in every time one of these sizzling stanzas rips off my blinders. I cannot imagine what the inside of her head must be like, all tango and blaring and pinball, locked in its relentless churn. I can’t believe that mere covers were able to contain this tender, this snorting laughter, these rampant truths. I cannot with Ms. Jennifer. But I did. I will. And you should.” —Patricia Smith, author & National Poetry Slam Champion

“When I’m asked why people should love poetry, I often point to the darkly funny, brutal poetry of Jennifer L. Knox and say, ‘There is your reason, asshole. Right there. I dare you to read those poems and not be brought to your knees.’ Days of Shame and Failure is her best work yet: potent with heart-sickening truth, humor and observation that will take us all from being on our knees, to face planting on the ground, kissing this good Earth with gratitude that such a poet exists in our time.” —Amber Rose Tamblyn, author of Dark Sparkler

“Jennifer L. Knox is one of our funniest writers, but what places her work in a realm of its own is the empathy that surrounds, contradicts, and occasionally undermines the joke, sending us far beyond the punch line. Written from the far edge of vast experience, these poems lyricize the post-beatdown quality of middle age. The marvelously capacious Days of Shame and Failure is the work of a genius at her peak, the best book yet from one of our most brilliant and sui generis American writers.” —Sarah Manguso, author of Ongoingness

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6 x 9 | 92 pages
Trade Paper Original
ISBN 978-0-9965868-0-1

If you thought her first three books were batshit, just wait till you read this one. Jennifer L. Knox is, honestly, one of our Reasons for Being, and Days of Shame & Failure is her best collection yet.

“Knox’s aesthetic falls somewhere between Carson McCullers’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and John Waters’s film Pink Flamingos. Each voice carries its own tragedy, perversion, American darkness. And there is the surprising tidiness of her writing, despite its pace and the amount of stuff she packs in. She writes the way Dean Moriarty parks cars.” —Poetry Review (UK)

Sample titles

• The New Let’s Make a Deal
• Radical Honesty Night
• Waiting on the Ambulance
• The Decorative Airport Fern Is Not What It Pretends to Be

Read some excerpts at the Ampersand Review:

Cover painting by Charles Browning

Additional information


Knox, Jennifer L.