Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of the forthcoming memoir How to Say Babylon. She is also the author of the poetry collection Cannibal, winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Cannibal was selected as one of the American Library Association’s “Notable Books of the Year,” and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, as well as being longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize.
Sinclair’s other honours include a Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, fellowships from Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Nation, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Oxford American, and elsewhere.
She received her MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia, and a PhD in Literature and Creative writing from the University of Southern California.