Writers and Human Rights
date: April 20, 2018
location: Villa Sassetti
Jennifer Clement
International President, PEN International

Jennifer Clement grew up in Mexico City. She studied English Literature and Anthropology at New York University and French Literature in Paris. She holds has an MFA from the University of Southern Maine. Clement is the author three novels: Prayers for the Stolen, A True Story Based on Lies and The Poison That Fascinates. Prayers for the Stolen was an Editor’s Choice book on the New York Times Book Review, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, winner of the Gran Prix des Lectrices Lycéennes de ELLE 2015 and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award. The novel appeared internationally on many “Best Books of the Year” lists, including The Irish Times. Clement has published four books of poetry, including The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin) and is the author of the acclaimed memoir Widow Basquiat on New York City in the early 1980’s and the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. She has received an NEA Fellowship and is a member of Mexico’s prestigious Sistema Nacional de Creadores. From 2009 to 2012, Clement was president of PEN Mexico and her work focused on the disappearance and killing of journalists. Her writing and activism represent a lifelong commitment to honouring those silenced by gender, class and race.