Jessica Yen is a third generation Chinese-American who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she spoke English at home and learned Chinese in a bilingual Mandarin immersion program. After majoring in Chinese Literature at UC Berkeley, she won a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in China from 2005-2006. Wile there, she traveled through 13 provinces in 12 months and fell in love with the country, its language and culture, and with writing about China. Since then, her writing has continued to explore the intersections between China, America, and Chinese-America.
While in China, she also rediscovered her love for knitting and sewing when a good friend sent her a link to a sewing blog. When she returned to the states she resumed crafting in earnest, and began making her own clothing in 2008. In 2015, she converted this hobby into a writing outlet when she published a personal essay about the grandmother who taught her to knit. Since then, she has continued to explore the role of making in her creative writing. She also writes a column for Seamwork Magazine that investigates the links between handcrafts and the slow life movement.
After stints in Boston and Beijing, Jessica currently calls Portland, OR home. She is an avid sewist and knitter who enjoys running, exploring Portland, cooking adventures, multilingual puns, and partner dance.