Jennifer is a Canadian poet and photographer.
Her poems show a fascination with parallels, polysemy, and the balance of clarity and allusion.
Based on the West Coast, she draws often from nature with its infinite range of colour, texture, and symbolism.
Jennifer's first full poetry collection in 2021 gathered writings from her earlier years (Spring, featuring parallelism), her married life (Summer, in a short-line free verse), her unrequited crush and descent into illness (Autumn, in both haiku and a more fractured free verse), and soon her illness taking over (Winter, with dark loneliness and splintering imagery that one reviewer remarked made Jennifer 'the Jackson Pollack of her craft').
Her photography is similarly drawn to the natural beauty of the landscape and the lines and design of man-made structures. Currently, she has more interest than skill, so the select few shots on this site and in her poetry book remain untouched.
Of her mother's 13 children, Jennifer is the youngest. Her family grew up in severe poverty, and the family home was an old house that someone had paid her father to haul away. It had no running water or other plumbing, and only wood heat through the long Ontario winters. Food was meagre and sometimes scarce.
Though poor, both of Jennifer's parents valued the arts, and could recite poems they loved from memory. Her mother often wrote descriptive narrative poetry in a Robert Service style.
In the late 60s, her mother scraped together enough to take ceramic classes at the local College - then taught by renowned Canadian potters like Robin Hopper, Roman Bartkiw and Ann Mortimer - and she fell for glazes in particular. Hence came the title for Jennifer's initial poetry book, named for a special glazing technique.
Art was a common pursuit for Jennifer's family, including her grandfather O.W. Peak who was an oil painter and black and white photographer (and former park warden and cowboy), her brother Cameron who painted architectural watercolours (often from his adventures in Mexico), and her brother Morgan who was a keen photographer.
At secondary school, Jennifer excelled at languages, literature, and maths, and she continued to express herself in poetry.
All the while, the family's standard of living was dire, and she and her siblings regularly lacked needed resources.
After Jennifer graduated, she discovered a bookstore near her work, and was introduced by its passionate owners to many international poets. She became especially fond of writings from Persia, China, Japan, and India.
During that period, Jennifer also studied Biblical poetry and its unique aspects, and she passed many nights listening to recordings of the Psalms.
In her early 20s, she moved to Vancouver and spent 2 years volunteering with its beautiful Vietnamese community (given the name Thu Thảo by her associates), and getting a basic familiarity with their language.
This was followed by a decade managing a contemporary West African music group. She was privileged to visit Guinea (Conakry), a country renowned in the African diaspora for its djembe playing and energetic dances. There, she was given the name Maciré (though usually just called Geneviève), and learned much from the people.