Knock Wood: A Memoir in Essays


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Dzanc Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 0.5 X 8.4 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author

Jennifer Militello is the author of A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments (Tupelo Press, 2016), called "positively bewitching" by Publishers Weekly, Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013), named one of the top books of 2013 by Best American Poetry, and Flinch of Song, winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award. Her poetry and nonfiction have been published widely in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Poetry, and Tin House. She teaches in the MFA program at New England College.


Praise for A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments

"[T]he collection is largely an exquisite example of the modern gothic: shadowy, beset by menacing weather and violent feelings, and positively bewitching."
--Publishers Weekly

Praise for Body Thesaurus

"These poems don't merely delve the psyche's depths, they harrow, and they harrow fantastic." -- Cate Marvin, author of Fragment "Body Thesaurus is a haunted and haunting voyage through the body's analogies, which expand to embrace whole worlds: the sensual, the material, and the spiritual." -- G. C. Waldrep, author of Goldbeater's Skin Praise for Flinch of Song

"Jennifer Militello's Flinch of Song simply astounds." --Christina Cook, Poets Quarterly
"These are hard tales of relationships gone haywire, the pull of love and the helplessness of mental illness and drug addiction. Militello makes order out of chaos sentence after sounding sentence, and succeeds in helping us at least try to understand human frailties. ... By the end of this contemplative and fascinating exploration, the reader may be moved to knock wood for good luck."

"Militello's part-memoir, part-poetic contemplation smooths out time and space so that we may see the All in front of us; it shows us that there is no such thing as an isolated incident, that everything we've lived continues to happen within us, that loss transcends love transcends time....She taps into a collective heartbreak, one we have, at different points, inflicted on ourselves by knowing better than to love the ones we choose to love."
--The Rumpus

"Knock Wood is a poet's memoir, filled with rich, beautiful language and metaphor. ... Militello's prose is haunting and sharp, her emotional nakedness a gift to the broken shards inside each of us."
--Mom Egg Review

"Speaking the music that exists within barren and uncompromising landscapes takes not only courage, but art. These Jennifer Militello has in abundance."
--Tupelo Quarterly

"With the lyrically textured and crystalline prose of a master poet, Militello's Knock Wood captures the elusive and mysterious nature of time itself, of our one dance on this earth that may not be our last, this urgent need of ours to love and to be loved, our propensity to fail at both and to try again, to suffer and to rise and to fall and yes, to perhaps live once more. This brave and mesmerizing memoir lays bare all of this with sentence after evocative sentence whose shimmering beauty I will never forget. Knock Wood is an absolute wonder, and Jennifer Militello is at the top of her form."
--Andre Dubus III, author of Townie and The House of Sand and Fog "The twenty-nine short essays that make up Knock Wood delight and astound. Each piece is as multifaceted as a gemstone, deeply hued, image-dense, burnished by perspective, precise as a poet's tear. But each piece also links in surprising ways, creating a narrative that offers the pleasures of deeper meditations on time, memory, and destiny. Readers with Knock Wood close at hand are lucky indeed."
--Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

"The essays in Knock Wood are perfect and petrified: to look inside is to witness the remains of transformation, once wood becomes stone becomes a blood that sins becomes an arrival, at a train station, and who will be waiting?"
--Lily Hoang, author of A Bestiary