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City Lights Spotlight #09: Joie de Vivre: Selected Poems 1992-2012by Lisa Jarnot
Synopses & Reviews
Inspired by the Beats, Black Mountain, and the New York School, Lisa Jarnot emerged in the 1990s as one of the foremost poets of the post-Language avant-garde. Joie de Vivre draws on twenty years of work, from the bold fragmentation of her mixed media debut, Some Other Kind of Mission, to the experimental lyricism of her recent Night Scenes. Following the poet's evolution through her engagements with form and music, Joie de Vivre showcases Jarnot's restless virtuosity and relentless curiosity. The archaic, the surreal, the pastoral, the political—no register of language proves too recalcitrant for her expansive sense of song.
Praise for Joie de Vivre:
"Riveting . . . Reading this work is truly a joy."—Publishers Weekly
"This compilation includes the best of Jarnots Whitmanesque reflections and Ginsbergian outcries, speech acts that list always toward an avant-garde."—Booklist
"Her ideas meddle in the traditions of form, medium, sound, and arrangement to recall the modernism of Joyce and Stein . . . This selection highlights her inventiveness."—Library Journal
About the Author -
Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1967, Lisa Jarnot studied with Robert Creeley at SUNY Buffalo and later earned an MFA at Brown University. The author of four full-length poetry collections and the former editor of the Poetry Project Newsletter, she has also just published Robert Duncan: The Ambassador From Venus (University of California Press, 2012), the definitive biography of the San Francisco poet. Since the mid-1990s, she has lived in New York City.
"In this first retrospective of Jarnot's work, language's power to transform the self is, through repetition, enacted: 'I am clinging to the baked goods and the liquor store, I am nearly Spanish and then nearly other things, I am cutting you with broken glass.' Balancing a honed, poised modern lyric with postmodern playfulness — in the vein of sometimes Stein ('tractor/ of chinchilla, chili of chinchilla, chill of the/ chinchilla, crosswalk of chinchilla of the dawn'), sometimes Stevens ('Inside of my inspection house there are/ things I am inside of lacking only linens/ and the tiniest of birds, there are small ideas/ of tiny birds and things they are inside of') — it's clear that Jarnot's earlier multimedia poetic experiments inform later poems, where each word or phrase is treated as an ingredient, accruing potency in quantity, some acting as generative hooks, lengthening and deepening a poem's breath ('how terrific it is to be/ misled inside a hallway, and how terrific it is/ to be the hallway as it stands inside the house'), others as fixed points to keep us, in the dizzying dream logic of these riveting, long-winded works, balanced. Reading this work is truly a joy." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A selection from twenty years of poetry from one of the key avant-garde women poets of the post-Language generation.
About the Author
Lisa Jarnot was born in Buffalo, New York in 1967. She attended the State University of New York at Buffalo during the late 1980s and Brown University from 1992-1994. Since the mid-1990s 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). She is also the author of Robert Duncan: The Ambassador From Venus (University of California Press, 2012), a comprehensive biography of the San Francisco poet. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including The Nation, The Brooklyn Rail, Jacket, Poetry 180: a turning back to poetry and Great American Prose Poems.
She has been a visiting writer at The Poetry Project, Naropa University, the University of Colorado, and Brooklyn College and has given readings and lectures throughout the United States, England, and France.
She collaborated with New York filmmaker Jennifer Reeves on the 2004 film The Time We Killed, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
She currently lives in Sunnyside, New York where she lives with her husband and daughter and works as a freelance gardener.
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