Jennifer Lee Lawson was born in Mount Pleasant, Texas in 1979 to Marion Lester Lawson and Margaret Lawson. She lived in Mount Pleasant for a few years and then she and her family moved to Paris, Texas, where Jennifer spent most of her childhood. Her mom and dad divorced when she was 8, and she and her two younger brothers lived with their mom, while her older brother lived with their dad.

Jennifer started writing poems at the age of 13. She took poetry writing as a daily exercise, perfecting her craft.

At the age of 14, Jennifer became pregnant. She moved to Florida when she was 8 months pregnant and attended a school for pregnant teens called Teen Parent East (now, The Chiles Academy). During high school, Jennifer’s teachers got her involved in many things. Jennifer met the late Florida Governor Lawton Chiles a few times. She attended a rally for Bill Clinton. She shook Hillary Clinton’s hand, and she spoke with Jeb Bush. These early experiences gave Jennifer a strong sense of her own voice and the belief that she could make a positive difference in the world.

After she graduated high school in 1998, Jennifer took classes at a local community college before transferring to Stetson University. At Stetson, Jennifer continued writing—entering creative writing competitions and winning First Prize every time she entered.

At Stetson, Jennifer fell in love with philosophy. She double majored in philosophy and psychology and graduated in 2004.

Jennifer applied to graduate school and was accepted to the University of North Florida (UNF) for practical philosophy and applied ethics. While being a graduate student at UNF, Jennifer worked as a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Philosophy, teaching over 100 undergraduate students per semester. In addition, Jennifer was a Research Assistant for the book “Reading Bernard Williams” (Routledge Press).

While writing her Master’s thesis, Jennifer had her first experience of psychosis. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia. During her decade-long fight with symptoms, she continued writing until she was finally in remission.

Jennifer lives in Central Florida with her family. She is a grandmother and continues to write.


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