Poet and fiction writer Jennifer Tseng was born in Indiana and raised in California by a Chinese immigrant engineer and a first-generation German American microbiologist. She is an award-winning poet and prose writer whose work has been translated into Chinese, Danish, and Italian.
Her first book The Man with My Face won the 2005 Asian American Writers' Workshop's National Poetry Manuscript Competition and a 2006 PEN American Center Open Book Award. Her second book Red Flower, White Flower (Marick Press 2013), winner of the Marick Press Poetry Prize, features Chinese translations by Mengying Han and Aaron Crippen. Her debut novel, Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness, was published by Europa Editions and was a finalist for the 2016 PEN American Center's Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2015 New England Book Award.
She has been a Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence at University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Her poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Green Mountain Review, Crazyhorse, Grand Street, Amerasia Journal, and Hawaii Review. Tseng is a professor of literature and creative writing at University of California, Santa Cruz.
At MacDowell in 2000, Tseng worked on a novel. In 2022, she worked on a novel-in-progress and began collaborating with visual artist Sydney Acosta on work to be shown in a 2023 group show at Human Resources in Los Angeles.