Poetry, paperback, 68 pages, from Bottlecap Press.
once i was many other things is a book about growing up, moving away, and building something new. it is about cornfields and mountains and moving somewhere you've never been before and evolving but also reflecting on past lives. it is about losing touch with old friends and making new friends even if these news friends are actually dogs. jessie writes poems that will lead you through loops, often off track then back on track again (if there ever was a track). at times religious, sexual, anxious, resolute, these poems will transfer you into the mind of someone just trying to figure out her relationship to the world. once i was many other things is change, loss, growth, and the desperate clinging on to familiar things while still moving forward, because that's all you can do.
"Jessie Knoles writes poetry about what used to be called the Middle West: poems about bonfires and Big R parking lots and humping and cornfields and trailer bars and beer and the funerals of young people and the moon. A lot of Jessie’s poems are about the moon. Reading Jessie’s poems I started to feel an intense kinship with her - maybe it was our blood-stained underwear, our Mittelschmerz. I started to miss my youth and all the people I’d left behind in it. Jessie’s poems are little stories about the people and places we love and lose and write poems about and lose again when those poems are published. When I finished Jessie’s book I wrote on a sticky note to ask my husband for her phone number because I wanted to be friends with her."
-Elizabeth Ellen, author of the poetry collection Elizabeth Ellen and the novel Person/a
"jessie knoles's debut full-length poetry collection is a daydream or a memory or a poem. read this book if you've ever: met someone who thinks olive garden is fancy, missed your dead pets, had a psychic experience, or slept next to your scared sibling. and if none of this applies, read it anyway, because this book is fucking beautiful."
"ONCE I WAS is incredible. It's the rush of waterfalls, American whiskey, and jet engines kicking on. It's like the diary entries of Hera, if after she'd killed Zeus and gotten bored on Mount Olympus, she decided to ride a lightning bolt down to America to throw her own party. And yet it'll take you off earth, above Illinois, above Washington State, so you can put your palm on the surface of your favorite cool star. This is poetry full of adrenaline, anxiety, and belief. Jessie Knoles is hands down one of the best living poets today."
jessie knoles is a poet who grew up in illinois but is currently living in washington state. she is a poetry editor for hobart. you can find her online at jessieknoles.com.