Ring of Fire is a book of experimental lyric poetry in the tradition of American Poetry beginning with Walt Whitman and continuing through the Beat Generation, the New York School, and contemporary Language Poetry. Jarnot’s work represents a synthesis of traditional modes of verse alongside more fragmented avant-garde writing practices. The poems in this collection resonate with homages to the metaphysical masters of the 17th Century while commenting on popular culture in the Western world.
‘The remarkable poems in Lisa Jarnot’s Ring of Fire seem to come to us out of some profound, yet distant, sadness. Rising on wave after wave of near endless iteration, like a linguistic Mandelbrot set, they arrive in the long moment after loss as the signature and enactment of an initiation – the primal collision and redemptive force of breathing between the tensile structure of the poem and the frangible space of living.’ —Patrick Pritchett
‘Jarnot’s poems get me both in the head and in the gut. The “I” is key to the poetry’s power: it’s ecstatic. From the Greek for ‘to put out of place,’ the ecstatic self is driven out of itself. This is the simultaneous joy and terror of the work: From ‘Brooklyn Anchorage’: ‘I became someone else … everything/ reached down from the sky to kill me / and now the cattails sing.’ The Ring of Fire is both Dante’s suffering and the Johnny Cash song’s self burned away by passion.’ —Alison Cobb