Lisa Jarnot was born in Buffalo, New York, and educated at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She holds a masters of divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary is a PhD student in theology at Drew University,
Jarnot is the author of numerous collections of poetry: A Princess Magic Presto Spell (Flood Editions, 2019); Joie De Vivre: Selected Poems 1992–2012 (City Lights, 2013); Night Scenes (Flood Editions, 2008); Black Dog Songs (Salt Publishing, 2003); Ring of Fire (Zoland Books, 2001), rereleased in 2003 with Salt Publishing as part of their Salt Modern Poets series; and Some Other Kind of Mission (Burning Deck, 1996).
Jarnot is also the author of the prose work Four Lectures (Wave Books, 2024), a collection of autobiographical essays in the Bagley Wright Lecture Series. She coedited An Anthology of New (American) Poets (Talisman House, 1998) with Leonard Schwartz and Chris Stroffolino, and her biography of the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus, was published by the University of California Press in 2012.
Jarnot has been a visiting professor at Naropa University, Brooklyn College, and the University of Colorado Boulder. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, and is a minister at Safe Haven United Church of Christ.