Robert Knox

Poet, Fiction Writer

Quincy, MA
Massachusetts US

Author's Bio

I have heard people say they write because they 'cannot not write.' I am of their party. Toujours travailler, Rilke learned from Rodin. I tried to learn from Rilke, writing poetry in my twenties for small presses and poetry mags invented the week before. I also wanted to write novels about the people I met and the communes I lived in, but it would take me a long time to learn how. When I began writing columns for a local newspaper, I found journalism satisfied my need for publication, but not my soul. I took a job in a newspaper office, working 'toujours' to put words on pages, but I needed to write fictive prose in the morning before going to work. I found my subject (my new subject) in the life of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, stunned to learn that he had been living in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where I now lived and worked, nearly a hundred years before. The past is not over, as another writer said, it is not even past. I wrote Vanzetti's story, and a piece of my own story, a half dozen times (or maybe a dozen) before it became my first published novel, Suosso's Lane. I also began writing poems again, the self-consciously brave sort that stand alone on a page and say, "I am a poem," as opposed to the words that mingle into one's prose fiction and articles. My poems flowed from the experience of planning and cultivating a perennial flower garden, spending time with dirt, water, stubbornly growing possibilities, failure and success, weather, bird song, silence, memories, and the thoughts and phrases that choose those moments to step out of the back rooms of the mind. Lately I rely on the stimulus, and need, to produce new work for a monthly online poetry journal the editor calls a 'community,' and I call a sounding board, a podium, a shout in the street, a highway of words. We all walk that lonely highway.

Recently my novel "Karpa Talesman" won a competition for a novel of speculative fiction and will be published by Hidden River Arts. A poem, "Boston City Singers," won the 2019 Anita McAndrews Poetry Award for a poem about human rights and was published by Map of Austin Poetry and Poets for Human Rights online sites. I continue to publish poetry as a contributing editor for and am guest editor for the March 2020 issue. Other recent publications include a poem in The American Journal of Poetry, one on, and three poems in Unlikely Stories.

Publications & Prizes


Suosso's Lane (Web-e-Books, 2015)


"Cocktails in the Wild" (Unsolicited Press, 2018)
Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty (Finishing Line Press, 2017)
American Journal of Poetry
Postcard Poems and Prose
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Prizes won: 

Finalist in the Massachusetts Artist Grants Program in the fiction/nonfiction category. Excerpts from my story "Lost" appeared on the Mass Cultural Council website.

Prize winner in Words With Jam short fiction contest. My story "Marriage" was published in the resulting anthology An Earthless Melting Pot.

Placed in fiction contest for The Potomac Review for short story (“Ballad of the Ambush”).

Resident Artist for Hidden River Arts Artist Residency program.

First place in Arts writing category and second place in Editorial writing category in the New England Press Association annual journalism awards.

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
John Banville, Harold Bloom, Patrick O'Brian, Haruki Murakami, Kazuo Ishigur, Alice Munro, William Faulkner, D.H. Lawrence, Jane Austen, James Joyce, Michael Chabon, Iain Pears, Shakespeare, Blake, Wordsworth, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath
What I'm reading now: 
"Men Without Women" by Haruki Murakami, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllbean, The Birth of Britain (vol. 1) by Winston Churchill , Petites Suites by Robert Wexelblatt, Jerusalem by Alan Moore

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
English American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
New York City, NY
New York
Raised in: 
Hempstead, NY
New York
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Jan 13, 2020