Poet Laura Jensen was born in Tacoma, Washington, where she continues to reside. She received her BA at the University of Washington, where she studied with poets David Wagoner and Mark Strand, and then followed Strand to the University of Iowa, where she earned an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. At Iowa she befriended fellow Northwest poet Tess Gallagher.
Jensen pairs domestic, stark imagery with complex metaphorical gesture, bridging interior and exterior spheres as she traces the shifting, halting, at times unfamiliar landscapes of memory and home. As poet Katie Peterson noted in a symposium on Jensen's work in Pleiades, Jensen “calls new imaginative spaces into existence as an act of intellect and then registers them in the body of the poem with the full force of feeling.”
Jensen’s collections of poetry include Bad Boats (1977), Memory (1982), and Shelter (1985). Her work has been included in the anthologies In Tahoma’s Shadow: Poems from the City of Destiny (2009), Longman Contemporary Poetry (2nd ed.; 1989), and Northwest Variety: Personal Essays by Fourteen Regional Writers (1987).
In 1996 Jensen helped create the Distinguished Poet Series. Jensen has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Washington State Arts Commission, and the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Fund.