Jenny Factor

Jenny Factor is an archaeologist of object and mind, a feminist, a mother, and a dog-lover. An inhabitant of doubled geographies, Jenny helps to organize the monthly Caltech Poetry Lunch while studying eighteenth-century women’s poetry networks at Brandeis University. Her first collection, Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press), won the Hayden Carruth Award and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Christina Pugh writes of that volume in Poetry, Jenny’s “verse forms sing with idiosyncrasy.” Factor’s poems and reviews have appeared in more than a dozen anthologies, including Poetry 180 and The Best American Erotic Poems (Scribner, 2008), and in Prairie Schooner, theGay & Lesbian Review, and the Paris Review. Her work has been supported by an Astraea Grant in poetry and acknowledged with a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg honorable mention. Jenny serves as Lecturer in Poetry at Caltech and is the former core faculty member in Poetry at the MFA in Creative Writing program at Antioch University Los Angeles, a writing program devoted to literature and social justice. She divides her time between Pasadena, California, and Marblehead, Massachusetts. 

All Books

Want, the Lake

Jenny Factor

Publication Date: September 17, 2024

$17.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-63628-164-3


With all the power of a long-brewing storm, the brilliant poet Jenny Factor finally returns to make public the interior work and spoils of decades in Want, the Lake, her second poetry collection. This book spans twenty years of life—accumulated wisdom, images, and desires—with a dedication to craft that has been honed and clarified by time.


Once again, Jenny Factor makes language ring like a sheep’s bell, like ripples on a lake where you encounter a lover. Like precise and accurate attention to the myriad truths and touchings of nature, human nature, childhood, motherhood, freedom, captivity. Turning and turning, Factor is a shimmering lighthouse of desire.

Alicia Ostriker, author of Waiting for the Light and The Volcano and After: Selected and New Poems, 2002–2019

Jenny Factor crafts her couplets, quatrains, sonnets, and sapphics “on the percussive keyboard of an open heart.” In the “primal endzone” of human relationships, parenting and partnering teach that “letting / what matters go, some part I need most, stays.” The languages of natural history and psychology undergird this collection, honoring the interconnectedness of communities and individuals. An experimental, lyrical Intelligence powers these original poems.

Robin Becker, author of The Black Bear Inside Me