Lisa Jarnot is an American poet. She was born in Buffalo, New York in 1967 and studied literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1994 she received an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. She has lived in San Francisco, Boulder, Providence, and London. Since the mid-1990s she has been a resident of New York City. She has taught creative writing and literature at Brooklyn College, Long Island University, Naropa University, and the Poetry Project in New York City.
Jarnot has edited two poetry journals (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 (1996), Ring of Fire (2001), Black Dog Songs (2003) and Night Scenes (2008). Her biography of the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan (Robert Duncan: The Ambassador From Venus: A Comprehensive Biography) was published in August 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. Joie De Vivre: Selected Poems: 1992-2012 was published by City Lights in May 2013. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies including Poetry 180 edited by Billy Collins, Great American Prose Poems edited by David Lehman, and the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry, 2013.
She works as a freelance writer, teacher, and gardener and lives in Jackson Heights, Queens. She is the owner and operator of Sunnyside Landscaping and is a founding member of a free school collective called the Central Park Forest Nursery.
and at noon I will fall in love
and nothing will have meaning
except for the brownness of
the sky, and tradition, and water
From the five good emperors
I have learned that there were five good emperors,
And how terrific it is to write a radio poem
and how terrific it is to stand on the roof and
watch the stars go by and how terrific it is to be