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Jennifer Clement is the author of the book Widow Basquiat, a memoir on Suzanne Mallouk's life in New York City with Jean-Michel Basquiat, that made the "Booksellers' Choice" list in the United Kingdom and a novel A True Story Based on Lies, a finalist in the Orange Prize for Fiction in the United Kingdom. Whoopie Goldberg bought the film rights to this novel. She is also the author of several books of poetry: The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin), Newton’s Sailor, and Lady of the Broom. Clement’s work has been translated into 8 languages. In 2008 Shearsman Books (UK) will publish her New and Selected Poems and Canongate Books will publish her novel The Poison That Fascinates.

Clement was awarded Mexico's prestigious "Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte" grant and was honoured with the UK's Canongate Prize for her story A Salamander-Child. In 2001 she was also the recipient of a US-Mexico Fund for Culture (FONCA, Fundacion Cultural Bancomer, the Rockefeller Foundation) grant for the San Miguel Poetry Week, which she founded in 1997 with her sister, Barbara Sibley. In 2007 she was given a MacDowell Fellowship.

Clement's work has appeared in numerous anthologies including The Best of The American Voice and Akzente, The Times, The Herald, Poetry London, The Nation, The American Poetry Review and The Independent magazine, among others, have published her stories, poems and essays. In 2007 the composer Jan Gilbert wrote an “Eleven Song Setting” of Clement’s The Lady of the Broom for Soprano Flute/alto flute, viola and violoncello.

Clement lives in Mexico City, Mexico. She is the co- director and founder of the San Miguel Poetry Week.

Awards and Honours

MacDowell Colony Fellowship, 2007

She Always Thought that She Would Burn Herself in the Kitchen,  2005 (Shortlisted for the David  T,K, Wong Prize)

Residency in Berlin, Germany granted by the Goethe Institute and Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, 2004 Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002, UK (for A True Story Based on Lies). The Canongate Prize for New Writing 2001, UK The Bookseller's Choice List, UK, (for Widow Basquiat). U.S.-Mexico Fund for culture (Conaculta/Fonca/Bancomer/The Rockefeller Foundation) grant in support of my poetry organization: The San Miguel Poetry Week. Grant awarded by the Mexican “Systema Nacional de Creadores de Arte”.

She has a son and a daughter, Richard and Sylvia


  • The Next Stranger, Ediciones El Tucan de Virginia, 1993. (Introduction by W.S. Merwin).
  • Newton's Sailor, Ediciones El Tucan de Virginia, 1997. (Introduction by Ramón Xirau).
  • Widow Basquiat, Canongate Books Ltd., U.K., 2000.
    • Foreign rights sales for Widow Basquiat: Canongate Books, Grove Atlantic, USA, 2001; Plaza & Janes, Mexico, 2000; Debate, Spain, 2001; Denöel, Gallimard, France, 2001; Jaeum & Moeum Publishing, Seoul, Korea, 2001.
  • A True Story Based On Lies, Canongate Books, Ltd., UK, 2001.
    • Foreign rights sales for A True Story Based on Lies: Canongate Books, Grove Atlantic, USA, 2001; Plaza & Janes, Mexico, 2001; Anagrama, Spain, 2001; Denöel, Gallimard, France, 2001; Temas y Debates, Portugal, 2001; Hed Arzi (Sifriat Ma'ariv) Publishing House, Israel. 2001; Arena, Holland, 2001; Instar Libri, Italy, 2002
  • The Next Stranger & Newton’s Sailor, Ecrivants des Forges, Quebec, Canada and Paris, France, 2001.
  • Lady of the Broom, Aldus, Mexico, 2002.
  • Widow Basquiat (Fragment) La Centena, Conaculta, Mexico, 2003
  • A Salamander-Child, The Canongate Prize, (Illustrated by Gustavo Monroy) Aldus, Mexico, 2007.
  • The Poison That Fascinates, Canongate Books, UK, 2008
  • Jennifer Clement: The New and Selected Poems, Shearsman Books, UK, 2OO8


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