Jennifer Lunden’s debut essay, “The Butterfly Effect,” won first prize in the Creative Nonfiction animal issue (Winter 2011), went on to win a Pushcart, and later was anthologized in True Stories, Well Told… From 20 Years of Creative Nonfiction Magazine. She told a version of “The Butterfly Effect” at Slant, a storytelling night organized by the Telling Room, in Portland, Maine. The essay has now been optioned for a short film.
In “Exposed: The Mammogram Myth and the Pinkwashing of America,” a piece for Orion, Lunden revealed the politics behind the corporate-driven breast cancer awareness campaign. Her paper about the health impacts of industrialism was selected for the anthology Charlotte Perkins Gilman: New Texts, New Contexts. “Evidence,” a personal essay about getting lost in the woods and the vagaries of memory, appeared in River Teeth and was subsequently named a Best American Essays notable. It was later republished as “Evidence, in Track Changes” in DIAGRAM.
Lunden’s poems have been published in Sweet, Peacock Journal, Poetry Canada Review and The Café Review, and she has read them live on CBC radio. “Killing Things,” a flash fiction piece, appeared in Wigleaf and “The Fish Story” was published in Eclectica. Her documentary Sadie’s Last Day was an official selection of the Maine International Film Festival.
A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and former therapist, she provides individual and group supervision to other therapists and has also taught social work online for Simmons University and the University of New England. Her essay about therapeutic writing, “Salvage, Salvation, Salve: Writing That Heals,” appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Creative Nonfiction. In 2012 she was named Maine’s Social Worker of the Year for her campaign to prevent cuts to Maine’s Medicaid program.
The recipient of the 2019 Maine Arts Fellowship for literary arts and the 2016 Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship in Nonfiction, Lunden, a dual citizen, has also been awarded two grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and one from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, Monson Arts, Hewnoaks Artist Residency, and the Dora Maar House in Menerbes, France.
An engaging speaker and storyteller, Lunden has presented at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program, the University of New England, and the KGB Bar Reading Series in New York, among others, and delights in joining college classrooms as an online guest to discuss her work.
She and her husband, the artist Frank Turek, live in a little house in the city, where they keep several backyard chickens, two cats, and some gloriously untamed gardens.