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The Mystery of the
Hidden Driveway

Jennifer L. Knox

December 2010
Trade Paper Original
ISBN: 978-0-9826587-1-0
84 pp. | $15.00


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In The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway, Jennifer L. Knox expands on her inimitable cast of characters, in hilariously poignant poems. In poems like "Marriage" and "One Ton of Dirt," Knox ventures further into autobiographical territory than she's ever gone before, in ways that will startle those familiar with her previous books, exploring relationships with her exes, her parents, and her younger self.

Like the best comedians (to whom she's often compared), Knox is never merely funny. Each of her speakers, even the bedraggled coyote that walks into a Quizno's, has something important to say.

Bob Hicock describes the effect of her trademark dark humor perfectly when he says, "The oddities of her work create a space in which it's possible to be oddly sincere. Knox is asking what really matters, in poems that move powerfully toward an answer."

Jennifer L. Knox was born in Lancaster, California—home to Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and the Space Shuttle. Her other books of poems, Drunk by Noon and A Gringo Like Me, are also available through Bloof. A volume of her verse in German, Wir Fürchten Uns, is available through Lux Books. Her poems have appeared in three volumes of the Best American Poetry series, Best American Erotic Poems, Great American Prose Poems: From Poet to Present, and Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books.

Sample poems from The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway:

Five Poems in Octopus

One Poem in No Tell Motel

Three Poems in Blackbird



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.


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.


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 asymmertrical to ours and yet 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.


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 Hicock

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.

—Nicole Kocot

Man, this book is fucking genius, and I never say shit like that.

—Sharon Mesmer


More Jennifer L. Knox
available from Bloof: