Lisa Ciccarello is a Portland based poet, with whom we recently had the pleasure of creating something very special. A blending of flavor and poetry, we made a chocolate especially to complement Lisa’s words from her new book At Night. We sat down together to talk about this project and chocolate.

OC: Tell us about your book and how you came to choose the particular lines for our Show and Tell chocolate?

LC: At Night is my first book of poems, ​which was recently released by Black Ocean, a press I greatly admire. It’s filled with cruel, folk-tale-esque poems & a good deal of dark pronouncements. Because of the nature of the book, there weren’t likely to be many “sweet” words to frame, so I tried to choose lines that reflected desire. Isn’t that what sweets are about anyway? I also wanted little phrases that would resonate with people, so that once they ate the frames they would want to keep the words around, perhaps pinning them up on their walls or fridges. To that end, Shea Smith letterpressed the lines, elevating the lines into a tactile little work of art.

OC: How does the flavor you chose reflect your work or your process? How does the flavor underline what you are trying to convey? 

LC: Because the book & the quotes I chose are so dark, I knew I wanted the frame to be in a dark chocolate, with that bitter, biting edge. There are so many flavors that meld perfectly with a dark chocolate, but I chose coffee because for years now I’ve had a writing ritual where every Sunday I go to a coffee shop to write (& drink copious amounts of coffee in the process). I also work in coffee, so it seemed a particularly appropriate choice.

OC: As a child what was your favorite sweet? What role do sweets play in your life?

LC: As a kid, all sweets were my favorite sweets. I loathed picking between flavors because it meant I was saying no to something. That hasn’t really changed at all. My house has been dubbed the “candy-jail” because I keep so many sweets around. That said, I have always had a particularly strong weakness for hazelnut chocolate, like Nutella or the Gianduiotti that my grandmother used to bring us from Italy.

Lisa
AtNight_FrontCoverImage
Read more of Lisa’s thoughts here. Her instagram feed is equally enthralling.