Poetry News

Presto! Lisa Jarnot's New Book: a princess magic presto spell

By Harriet Staff


Lisa Jarnot has a new book! Published by small press Solid Objects, the "exquisitely-designed hardcover book/chapbook a princess magic presto spell" is reviewed by ever-stalwart rob mclennan over at The Small Press Book Review. Jarnot's book "blends collage and the list to create a poem aware of large moments, from 'trapped chilean miners in a / spectacularly disappointing universe,' or keeping to small," writes mclennan. More:

Jarnot has utilized the collage/accumulation in her work before, such as in the “Sea Lyrics” section of her Ring of Fire (Zoland Books, 2001/Salt Publishing, 2003), and her dozen or so books and chapbooks are rich with a variety of formal experimentation and play, including utilizing the sonnet, the lyric sentence and the prose poem, among others. Structurally, the flow of a princess magic presto spell goes back and forth between the deluge and the extremely small, winding and weaving akin to the utanikki, a Japanese-hybrid form utilized in the past by Canadian poets bpNichol and Fred Wah, blending haiku-like smallness with a more expansive lyric. Even the title could suggest an idea of translation and Japanese form, as a princess magic presto spell suggests what a Japanese title might translate literally (and poorly) into English, with the result being more confusion than explanation. The accumulation of the poem also leads one to suspect that the piece is complete only in as much as it holds everything she has placed within it, and could hold far more, if she wished.

Lovely to see. Can't wait to hold, you know. Read the full review at The Small Press Book Review.