Jennifer Moxley


Poet and essayist Jennifer Moxley was born and raised in San Diego. She studied at University of California, San Diego; the University of Rhode Island, where she completed her BA; and Brown University, where she earned an MFA.

Moxley’s poems combine lyric and innovative looks at daily life while interrogating societal comfort. Reviewing Clampdown for the Nation, poet Ange Mlinko noted, “Moxley's ethical anxieties emanate from a central unease, unease at home, and ripple out to touch nation, earth and cosmos. But … Moxley does not sublimate her psychology and social perspective.” “Truth in my work is just that: a question,” asserted Moxley in an interview with Noah Eli Gordon for the Denver Quarterly. “I am a poet because language, especially as it lives in poetry, approximates my idea of truth in a more satisfying and meaningful way than any other human production or activity.”

Moxley is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Imagination Verses (1996), Often Capital (2005), The Line (2007), and Clampdown (2009), as well as the memoir The Middle Room (2007). A noted translator, Moxley has translated Jacqueline Risset’s collections of poetry, The Translation Begins (1996), and essays, Sleep’s Powers (2008), as well as Anne Portugal’s Absolute bob (2010).

Moxley has won the Denver Quarterly’s Linda Hull Award, and her work has been included in the anthologies Best American Poetry (2002), Vanishing Points: New Modernist Poems (2004), and American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry (2009).




“This is a moving & accomplished real book of lyric poetry, the kind of work that comes around very rarely. That is, the contemporary American poetry scene is highly energized, there is a lot of talent out there, but rarely does a poet bring it all together in one volume as stirringly as Moxley has. It’s extraordinary.”

 —Henry Gould


“To read a Moxley poem is to submerge oneself in a world of chance and possibility while never being allowed to forget the limits that reality, the reality of the self and of the literal, imposes on such notions of utopia or freedom.” 

—Lucy Sheerman






Noah Eli Gordon & Jennifer Moxley in Conversation

More Moxley in: Jacket2 | The Nation | Boston Review



Imagination Verses will be republished in the forthcoming

T E N D E R   O M N I B U S

The First 25 Years of Tender Buttons Press