Jenifer Rae Vernon was raised in Yelm, Washington. As a young girl she wrote down the stories of her elders in the local vernacular, sparse and direct speech. She says, "I learned that plain old words can shine glorious if they are bowed and rearranged right-and that sometimes the rhythm says more than the words themselves." Later she journeyed abroad, to Spain and Morocco, working on oral history projects in conjunction with her studies at Evergreen State College. She earned an M.A. in international studies at the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in Communication at the University of California, San Diego. She has been a featured poet in clubs and performance spaces in the San Diego-Tijuana area and has presented papers on performance poetry and its role in community building at a number of venues. Rock Candy is her first book-length publication.