Jennifer Clement

90-minute Workshop. Session #3: Friday, February 17 – 3:15 PM – 4:45PM

It Is A Delicious Thing To Write:
Poetry Workshop

“It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the red sun that made them almost close their love-drowned eyes”.  Gustave Flaubert

The workshop is based on Gustave Flaubert’s sense of possibility as a writer.  Participants will do in-class exercises, read each other’s work, and respond. We will discuss essential skills but also delve into more mysterious areas of writing, which include the exploration of metaphor and simile, persona, the senses and synesthesia, dialogue, etymology and music.

San Miguel Writers Conference poetry

Jennifer Clement studied English Literature and Anthropology at New York University and also studied French literature in Paris, France. She is currently the President of PEN Mexico.

Clement is the author of the memoir Widow Basquiat that made the “Booksellers’ Choice” list in the United Kingdom and two novels: A True Story Based on Lies, which was a finalist in the Orange Prize for Fiction in the United Kingdom, 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.

San Miguel Writers Conference poetryHer prize-winning story A Salamander-Child has been published as an art book with work by the Mexican painter Gustavo Monroy. Clement’s work has been translated into 11 languages and is included in The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Writers and Their Work, a reference book based on writers in the English language “ who have received the highest literary acclaim”.

Jennifer Clement won 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. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was named the Thornton Writer-in-Residence at Lynchburg College, VA and the Sandburg-Auden-Stein Poet in Residence at Olivet College Mi.

San Miguel Writers Conference poetrySan Miguel Writers Conference poetryClement was awarded Mexico’s prestigious “Sistema Nacional de Creadores” grant and in 2001 and she is 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.

Clement’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies including The Best of The American Voice and Akzente, The London Times, 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.  Recently, the composer Jan Gilbert created an “Eleven Song Setting” of Clement’s The Lady of the Broom for soprano, flute, viola, and violoncello. A play based on her novel A True Story Based on Lies is being staged in Paris, France this year.

Jennifer Clement lives in Mexico City, Mexico.