"[Bill Knott's] poems are so naive that the question of their poetic quality hardly arises. . . . Mr. Knott practices a dead language."
—Denis Donoghue, New York Review of Books, May 7, 1970
[Bill Knott's poems are] typically mindless. . . . He produces only the prototaxis of idiocy. . . . Rumor has it that Knott's habit of giving his birth and terminal dates together originated when he realized he could no longer face the horror of a poetry reading he was scheduled to give."
—Charles Molesworth, Poetry (Chicago) Magazine, May 1972
"[Bill Knott is] malignant."
—Christopher Ricks, The Massachusetts Review, Spring 1970
"[Bill Knott's work] consists almost entirely of pointless poems, that say disgusting things. . . . [His poetry is] tasteless . . . and brainless."
—Michael Heffernan, Midwest Quarterly, Summer 1973
"Consider Bill Knott, a poet who writes lots of very short poems that are nothing but bombast."
—Josh Hanson, Livejournal, 28/06/07: http://josh-hanson.livejournal.com/26249. html
"Eccentric, uneven . . . poet Bill Knott is not [fit] to win prizes . . . [His work is] thorny . . . rebellious, avant-garde . . . ."
—Robert Pinsky, Washington Post.com, April 17, 2005
"[Bill] Knott's work tends today to inspire strong dismissal. . . . [He's] been forced to self-publish some of his recent books. . . . [B]ad—not to mention offensively grotesque—poetry. . . . appalling . . . . maddening . . . . wildly uneven . . . adolescent, or obsessively repetitive . . . grotesqueries . . . . [His] language is like thick, old paint . . . his poems have a kind of prickly accrual that's less decorative than guarded or layered . . . emotionally distancing . . . . uncomfortable. Knott . . . is a willful . . . irritating . . . contrarian."
—Meghan O'Rourke, Poetry Magazine, Feb 2005
"Knott is making capitol on poetic fashion, attempting belatedly to enter the canon of the Language poets by reviving the idiom of Ezra Pound. [His work] so successfully defies communicating anything that one wonders what [his publisher] had in mind. . . . Knott, it may be recalled, "killed" himself in the early 1960s."
—R. S. Gwynn, The Year in Poetry, DLB Yearbook 1989
"[Bill Knott is] incompetent . . ."
—Alicia Ostriker, Partisan Review, Vol. 38, #2, 1971
"Bill Knott, the crown prince of bad judgment."
—Ron Silliman, Silliman's Blog, June 26, 2007
"Bill Knott's poems are . . . rhetorical fluff . . . and fake."
—Ron Loewinsohn, TriQuarterly, Spring 1970
"[Bill Knott's poetry is] queerly adolescent . . . extremely weird. . . personal to the point of obscurity. . . his idiosyncrasy has grown formulaic, his obscure poems more obscure, his terse observations so terse they scoot by without leaving much of a dent in the reader. . . . There is a petulance at work [in his poetry]. . . . [H]is style has grown long in the tooth. . . . In fact, [Knott is] unethical."
—Marc Pietrzykowski, Contemporary Poetry Review, 2006
"Bill Knott's [poetry is the equivalent of] scrimshaw. . . . [He's] either self-consciously awkward or perhaps a little too slangily up-to-date."
—Stephen Burt, New York Times Book Review, November 21, 2004
"Bill Knott['s] ancient, academic ramblings are part of what's wrong with poetry today. Ignore the old bastard."
—Collin Kelley (from "They Shoot Poets Don't They" blog, August 08, 2006)
"Bill Knott . . . is so bad one can only groan in response."
—Peter Stitt, Georgia Review, Winter 1983
"Bill Knott bores me to tears."
“Bill Knot[t] sucks.”
—Marcus Slease (from “Never Mind the Beasts” blog, June 10, 2005)
"[Bill Knott's books are] filled with venom. . . . Knott seems to hate himself . . . and he seems to hate his readers."
—Kirk Robinson, Another Chicago Magazine, #36-38, 2000
"Bill Knott's a prissy little moron."
—Matthew Henriksen, http://hyacinthlosers.blogspot.com/, March 23, 2009
"[Bill] Knott's poems, with their flat language and simple declarations, typically fail to impress."
—Seth Abramson, Huffington Post, September 21, 2013
"Bill Knott should be beaten with a flail."
—Tomaz Salamun, Snow, 1973
"Bill Knott [is a] now-forgotten oddity."
—Peter Straub, July 2, 2012, weirdfictionreview.com
(PLEASE NOTE: the above quotes are authentic and can be verified by checking the sources indicated. This selection is random, drawn from material at hand. Many others of a similar nature could be researched and added.)