Deborah Clearman was born in North Carolina and grew up on a tobacco farm in Southern Maryland. She studied art history and fine arts at Bryn Mawr College and pursued a career in painting. Represented by First Street Gallery in New York City, her paintings and prints have been widely exhibited in galleries and museums. She wrote and illustrated The Goose’s Tale for children. Todos Santos, her first novel, came out in 2010 from Black Lawrence Press. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals.
Since her first visit to Guatemala in 1978, Deborah has been back many times, living for a year in the village of Todos Santos in 2001-2002. She continues to maintain a close connection to the country and her Guatemalan friends to this day.
For eight years Deborah was Program Director for NY Writers Coalition, a nonprofit organization that offers free writing workshops to underserved communities throughout New York City. Deborah has led creative writing workshops in such nontraditional venues as senior centers, public housing projects, adult basic education programs, and prisons. Since 2011 she has led an ongoing weekly writing workshop for women in jail on Rikers Island. A member of PEN, she serves on the Prison Writing Committee.