Jennifer Clement studied English Literature and Anthropology at New York University and also studied French literature in Paris, France. She is currently completing her MFA at the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast MFA program.
Clement is the author of the cult classic memoir Widow Basquiat (on the painter Jean Michel Basquiat) and two novels: A True Story Based on Lies, which was a finalist in the Orange Prize for Fiction, and The Poison That Fascinates.
She is also the author of several books of poetry: The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin); Newton’s Sailor; Lady of the Broom and Jennifer Clement: New and Selected Poems. Her prize-winning story A Salamander-Child is published as an art book with work by the Mexican painter Gustavo Monroy.
Jennifer Clement was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Fellowship for Literature 2012. She is also the recipient of the UK’s Canongate Prize. In 2007, she received a MacDowell Fellowship and the MacDowell Colony named her the Robert and Stephanie Olmsted Fellow for 2007-08. Clement is a member of Mexico's prestigious "Sistema Nacional de Creadores."
Clement was the Thornton Writer-in-Residence at Lynchburg College, VA and the Sandburg-Auden-Stein Poet-in-Residence at Olivet College, MI.
Clement's work has appeared in numerous anthologies such The Best of The American Voice (USA), INUITS numéro 3, (France), Mexican Poetry Today, 20/20 Voices, Shearsman Books (UK), and Verse and the Universe (poems about science), Milkweed Editions, (USA). She is also included in the Encyclopedia
of Contemporary Writers and Their Work (Facts of File Library of
World Literature). The London Times,
Akzente, The Herald, Poetry London, The Nation, The American Poetry
Review, National Geographic, The Warwick Review and The Independent
Magazine, among others, have published
her stories, poems and essays.
The composer Jan Gilbert created an “Eleven Song Setting” of Clement’s The Lady of the Broom for soprano, flute, viola, and violoncello. The French theatre company Traits de Marque (under the director Marco Pejrolo) adapted her novel A True Story Based on Lies for the stage and, in 2012, it premiered in Paris, France.
Jennifer Clement was President of PEN Mexico from 2009 to 2012. She lives in Mexico City, Mexico and, along with her sister Barbara Sibley, is the founder and director The San Miguel Poetry Week (affiliated to the University of Southern Maine, Stonecoast MFA program).
San Miguel Poetry Week
The story "THAT WAS WHEN YOU COULD STILL BE KILLED FOR LOVE," nominated
for the Pushcart Prize and published by The Warwick Review, can be viewed