Jennifer Jean was born in Venice, California, and lived in foster care until she was seven. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley (California) and earned her BA in creative writing from San Francisco State University and her MFA in poetry from Saint Mary’s College. Her debut poetry collection is The Fool (Big Table, 2013); her chapbooks include The Archivist (2011) and In the War (2010). She released Fishwife Tales (2011), a collaborative CD with composer Sarah Eide, which comprises art songs, rock ballads, and accompanied recitations. Jean’s poetry and prose have appeared in Rattle, Waxwing, Drunken Boat, Crab Creek Review, Caketrain, the Denver Quarterly, the Tidal Basin Review, Mud City, Solstice Magazine, and others. Her poems have been anthologized in Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women (2016) and Inheriting the War: Poetry & Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees (2017). Her poetry manuscript Object, about objectification and human trafficking in the United States, was a finalist for the 2016 Green Mountains Review Book Prize and a semifinalist for the 2016 Akron Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of the 2016 Good Bones Poetry Prize.
Jean is the founder of Free2Write: Poetry Workshops for Trauma Survivors. She is also a codirector of the Morning Garden Artists Retreats, poetry editor of Mom Egg Review, and managing editor of Talking Writing Magazine. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and children.