Sunday, August 22, 2010
Painting by Charles Browning; design by Charlie Orr
Fascination with the down-and-out lurks behind Knox’s layers of irony and comic distance. She’s at her best and most entertaining in bursts of everyday surrealism. Publishers Weekly
These are not poems to be placed on a pedestal. They are to be read and, most importantly, enjoyed. She is doing something that captures attention, is truly artistic, and fills a void in contemporary poetry. Jacket
Though many tout Knox’s humor as her most popular quality, like the best technicians of comedy it is the jugular she goes for, by way of the jocular. Knox’s voice comes at us courageous and stouthearted, sticking her flag deep in the soil of this weird and wicked world. Harriet
The humor in Knox’s poetry is used with precise skill. Indeed, behind every comic moment is a tragedy shouting through its megaphone. Knox never gives the impression that comedy is her only purpose. American Poet
Not since I first read James Tate have I encountered a poet who is able to create a world that is at once so bizarrely asymmetrical to ours and yet somehow uncannily accurate in its portrayal of humanness. I’d recommend this book to anyone, even if they don’t start their day with a sixer. Coldfront
Knox’s poems knock me out. They have a pace of imagination, an ease of inventiveness that gives me an excuse to use the word brio. The oddities of her work create a space in which it’s possible to be oddly sincere. It’s as if Knox is asking what really matters, in poems that move powerfully toward an answer. Bob Hicok
Of all the clowns in the poetry circus, Knox is my favorite because her work is stunning to look at, full of showbiz savvy, and more than a little scary. David Kirby
Jennifer L. Knox’s poems are poignant, smart and compassionate. I love this poetry, and I feel very close to it. Knox is the kind of author one wants to be friends with, in Holden Caulfield’s sense, after reading the work. As far as I’m concerned, there is no higher compliment for a writer. Noelle Kocot
Man, this book is fucking genius, and I never say shit like that. Sharon Mesmer
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Two chapbooks by Sandra Simonds, Used White Wife and the self-published Made From Scratch, are fascinating and energetic reads. In UWW, Simonds’ flair for high octane, historically detailed Surrealism takes a flarfy turn for the outrageously comical: “You’re not supposed to fuck your first cousin, expert/ on Reform Era pamphlets,/ or eat an oatmeal-flavored Powerbar on/the toilet. Even my dog, Scruffy-Pie, knows/not to shit in the room/where you sleep or sleep/where you’re not supposed to think of the clitoris.” UWW is hilarious, but also psychological insightful, a rollick through the ages that turns up a lot of hidden cultural embarrassments. Made From Scratch has a few outrageous moments, but seems more personal, historically specific, and sad by turns, and at times its emotional power runs deeper than that in the other chap. Both books feature Simonds’ startlingly rich vocabulary. She’s a writer who is only continuing to grow into the range of what she can do.
Mark's blog is here.
Used White Wife is here.
More good news re: Sandra's forthcoming book Mother Was a Tragic Girl is here. (Congratulations, Sandra!)
Oh, and naturally Warsaw Bikini is available right here.