The poems in Jennifer Knox’s darkly imaginative collection, Crushing It, unearth epiphanies in an unbounded landscape of forms, voices and subjects―from history to true crime to epidemiology―while exploring our tenuous connections and disconnections. From Merle Haggard lifting his head from a pile of cocaine to absurdist romps through an apocalypse where mushrooms learn to sing, this versatile collection is brimming with dark humor and bright surprise. Alongside Knox’s distinctive surrealism, Crushing It also reveals autobiography in poems about love, family, and adult ADHD, and Knox’s empathetic depictions of the ego’s need to assert its precious, singular “I” suggest that a self distinct from the hive, the herd, the flock, is an illusion. With clear-eyed spirit, Crushing It swallows all the world, and then some.
“Darkly inventive… This is a careful, thoughtful book about the complexities of identity and the difficulty of words.” —Publishers Weekly
“Knox’s poems traverse space and time to bring us a collection of poems which are both expansive and surreal as well as intimately autobiographical… The collection’s surrealist turns and twists allow Knox to explore not only the consequences of our choices, but a range of landscapes, individuals, and subject matters with her assertive and daring voice that makes for a fascinating read.” —The Arkansas International
“Knox crafts a poetic universe of friction, farce, and alarming revelation… Many of the poems are, quite literally, laugh out loud funny… Though Crushing It can be morbid, disturbing, and unreal, Knox ultimately grounds us in the knowledge that veins of tenderness and compassion run underneath it all.” —Lunate
“From the very first imagistic pleasure—a prehistoric conifer tree breaking through an icy lake, reaching a startling height, then falling as swiftly as it rose—Knox’s new collection brims with surprise… Self-deprecating, dry humor, combined
with Knox’s wide-ranging imagination makes Crushing It difficult to put down.”—Women’s Review of Books
“Knox’s new poetry collection Crushing It is hilarious, disturbing, touching and more than occasionally profane.” —Iowa Public Radio
“What if… one discovered that the self is no refuge from the absurdity of the world, and that what we imagined as as an island of sense and coherence was chock full of contradiction and nonsense? What would a poetry that took this seriously look and sound like? I think it would look and sound like the poetry of Jennifer L. Knox.”—On the Seawall