Lisa Jarnot was born in Buffalo, New York. After studying with the poet Robert Creeley at the University of Buffalo, she earned her MFA from Brown University. Her poetry is known for its startling yet inviting aesthetic. Jarnot has commented, “I think poems are always collage on some level… Collage is a way to force awareness out of the random flow of information that’s constantly bombarding us.” In addition to the collage-like technique of juxtaposing, Jarnot also frequently employs repetition, as in “Poem Beginning with a Line by Frank Lima,” which reviewer Patrick Pritchett has described as “[t]he poem as a set of Chinese boxes, the word nested inside the further word, its double and its mirror and shadow.”
Jarnot is the author of four collections of poetry, including Joie De Vivre: Selected Poems 1992-2012 (2013) and A Princess Magic Presto Spell (2019), Night Scenes (2008), Black Dog Songs (2003), and many chapbooks. She coedited the anthology An Anthology of New (American) Poets (1997), and her biography of San Francisco poet Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus, was published by the University of California Press in 2012. Joie De Vivre: Selected Poems 1992-2012 will be published by City Lights in 2013. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, where she works as a freelance gardener.