Lisa Jarnot
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Lisa Jarnot

Lisa Jarnot was born in Buffalo, New York in 1967 and studied at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Brown University. Since the mid-1990s she has been a resident of New York City.

She has edited two small magazines (No Trees, 1987-1990, and Troubled Surfer, 1991-1992) as well as The Poetry Project Newsletter and An Anthology of New (American) Poetry (Talisman House Publishers, 1997).

She is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: Some Other Kind of Mission (Burning Deck Press, 1996), Ring of Fire (Zoland Books, 2001 and Salt Publishers, 2003), Black Dog Songs (Flood Editions, 2003) and Night Scenes (Flood Editions, 2008). Her biography of the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan was published by the University of California Press in 2012 and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Non-Fiction, and received Honorable Mention in Literature from American Publishers Awards program. A Selected Poems was published by City Lights in May of 2013.

She currently lives in Jackson Heights, New York with her husband and daughter. She works as a teacher, writer, and freelance gardener and is a founding member of the Central Park Forest Nursery. She blogs at Defiant Lightness.

Upcoming Readings, Lectures, and Classes:

An Autumn Workshop: Spontaneous Particulars and Saturation Jobs: The Archives:

this class will be a continuation out of two recent workshops (a course on autobiography and a summer workshop called "attempts at exhausting").

I'd like to look at various ideas of "archive" or "archives", at extensive, obsessive, records and collections of data. Texts will include Susan' Howe's new New Directions book Spontaneous Particulars:The Telepathy of Archives, Walter Benjamin's the Arcades Project, Bernadette Mayer's The Helens of Troy, and Georges Perec's Life: A User's Manual.

I expect that the topic will be broad enough to accommodate a variety of projects across genres. I'd like to propose that we be literal (delving into archives at NYPL, Smithsonian Archives at Bowling Green, NYC, NYU archives, FBI.Gov,, odd local/regional archives that may be open to the public). I'd also like to propose that we be creative: turning our own archival materials into museums, memory palaces, zoos, making "archives" of everyone we've ever known, and lists of every item of clothing we've ever worn, building an archive out of a single word or a single topic as the beginning of a 14 year "saturation job" (Charles Olson: "Best thing to do is to dig one thing or place or man (sic) until you yourself know more abt that than is possible to any other man (sic)." We will also cross-reference Ed Sanders' Investigative Poetry essay and attempt to reconstruct the library at Alexandria (why not?). Please bring works-in-progress and laundry lists of those projects that have been waiting in the wings.

Monday nights, 6:00-8:30

Sept. 22
Sept 29
Oct 6
(off Columbus Day)
Oct 20
Oct 27
(off Nov 3)
Nov 10
Nov 17
Nov 24
Dec 1
Dec 8

Fee is $350 (sliding scale for starving artists), Send a $25 deposit to save a seat: Lisa Jarnot, 86-10 34th Ave, 211, Jackson Heights, NY 11372


Private tutorial sessions for students preparing manuscripts or looking for new directions in their work. $50 per hour.



October 10-12, 2014
Keynote speaker for the inaugural [Dis]embodied Poetics Conference: Writing/Thinking/Being, at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Boulder, Colorado.


The Berkeley Poetry Conference: June 2015: Panelist and Reader. Details to come.


The Fall of Orpheus, Shuffaloff Press, 1993.
Sea Lyrics, Situation Press, 1996.
Some Other Kind of Mission, Burning Deck Press, 1996.
Heliopolis, rem press, 1999.
The Eightfold Path, a+bend Press, 2000.
Ring of Fire, Zoland Books, 2001.
One's Own Language, The Institute of Further Studies, 2002.
Black Dog Songs, Flood Editions, 2003.
Reptile House, Bookthug, 2005.
Chansons du chien noir (Black Dog Songs Chapbook in French), Format Americain, 2005.
Iliad XXII: The Death of Hector Atticus/Finch Books, 2006, BookThug (Toronto), 2007.
Night Scenes, Flood Editions, 2008.
Amedellin Nosegay Cooperative, The Song Cave, 2010.
Joie de Vivre, Dirty Swan Projects, 2011.
Robert Duncan: The Ambassador From Venus: A Comprehensive Biography, University of California Press, 2012.
Joie de Vivre: Selected Poems 1992-2012, City Lights, 2013.
A Princess Magic Presto Spell, Solid Objects, 2014.

Lisa Jarnot's books can be ordered through Small Press Distribution: SPD Further information about her work is also available at Flood Editions and Salt Web