Jennifer Clement

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USA/Mexico | 2014

Jennifer Clement is the author of the memoir Widow Basquiat (on the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat) and the novels: A True Story Based on Lies, The Poison That Fascinates andPrayers for the Stolen (a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Book), which received an NEA Fellowship for Literature and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award.  She is also the author of several books of poetry including The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S.  Merwin). Clement’s work has been translated into 22 languages. In 1997 she, co-founded the San Miguel Poetry Week with her sister, Barbara Sibley.


Report 2014

Santa Maddalena

At night in early June,

fireflies spill into the garden

from the olive grove

and their on-and-on-and-on lights

hold the day’s last particle of sun.

Across the garden, in the Writer’s Tower,

books fall open to rectangular, marble-pale

dedication pages.  Here names

written in black ink, with a preceding To or For,

recall lives on paper headstones.

Some nights soft rains fall  and fall

on stone and grass, steep the green-grey

trees, put out the fire

of fireflies, warp the books,

and, in this mist, turn Tower to steeple.