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Born in Kingsville, Texas, to a Naval officer, Jennifer Sinor arrived in northern Utah in July of 2000 and has lived there ever since. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan in English and Education in 2000, and her work initially focused on women’s life writing, specifically personal writing like letters and journals. She began her career at Utah State University in the fall of 2000 and has taught thousands of students by this point. She currently chairs the creative writing emphasis and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in creative nonfiction.
The author of several books, her first book, The Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing: Annie Ray’s Diary (U of Iowa P), is a crossgenre exploration of the diary of her great, great, great aunt, Annie Ray, a woman who homesteaded in the Dakotas in the late nineteenth century and who kept a diary that most would consider useless. Jennifer named Annie’s writing ordinary and developed a way to read the kind of writing many would dismiss. Although she would leave scholarly writing within a few years and turn entirely to creative nonfiction, Jennifer’s reverence for the ordinary tethers her work. In 2017, she published a memoir, Ordinary Trauma, which tells the story of growing up as a military child in a world where the possibility of war was made ordinary every day. In that same year, she published a collection of essays that take inspiration from the letters of the American modernist Georgia O’Keeffe. T