Jamaica’s Safiya Sinclair of Montego Bay has received the 2016 Whiting Award in recognition of her accomplishments in poetry. The Whiting, which brings a monetary award of $50,000, was founded in 1985. Sinclair’s writing was described as “heavy with the legacy of family and history,” and the citation stated that “many of Safiya Sinclair’s poems are inspired by her childhood in Jamaica; a richness and density in the imagery conveys a lush beauty and danger.” Her first collection of poems, “Cannibal,” won the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, and her work has been featured in many publications, including the Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Boston Review, and Callaloo. Sinclair was also the winning of a writing fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Amy Clampitt Residency Award, and an Academy of American Poets prize. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia and is working on a Ph.D. in creative writing and literature at the University of Southern California.
Photo Source: Djani Sinclair