Emerging Jamaican Poet wins Prestigious $50K Whiting Award

Safiya Sinclair awarded $50,000 for her inspiring book of poetry. Her debut collection, Cannibal, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry for 2015.

Emerging Jamaican Poet wins Prestigious $50K Whiting Award

Safiya Sinclair

Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Her debut collection, Cannibal, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry for 2015, and will be published by University of Nebraska Press in 2016. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She has been awarded a writing fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Amy Clampitt Residency Award, and an Academy of American Poets Prize.

She is also the recipient of a 2015 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, and was the winner of the Boston Review’s eighteenth annual poetry contest. Sinclair received an MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia, and is currently completing a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Southern California.

“Rich and mythic, heavy with the legacy of family and history, 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. There is traveling involved as you turn her pages and somehow all of the waterfalls and rivers and roads connect. Follow her sparkling, detailed phrasings and lines and you will arrive drenched in human contact. The mother in these poems recedes into myth, while the father erupts from the  page, threatening disruption and disturbance. Other works capture a different life in the United States, one marked by a sense of order and withholding, which is at once reassuring and chilling. There often seems to be dialectics at play between wildness and control. Her poems reveal she is in full bougainvillea bloom.”- http://www.whiting.org/awards/winners/safiya-sinclair#/

About the Whiting Foundation

The Whiting Foundation is an American based organization – http://www.whiting.org/
Since 1985, the Foundation has supported creative writing through the Whiting Awards, given annually to ten emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. The awards, of $50,000 each, are based on early accomplishment and the promise of great work to come.

Since 1985, the Foundation has supported creative writing through the Whiting Awards, given annually to ten emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. The awards, of $50,000 each, are based on early accomplishment and the promise of great work to come.

According to Whiting.org, “The Foundation does not accept applications or unsolicited nominations. Rather, we invite nominators from across the country whose work brings them in contact with individuals of extraordinary talent to propose a single candidate each. The pool of nominators changes annually, and has included writers, professors, editors, agents, critics, booksellers, artistic directors of theaters, dramaturgs, and directors of literary festivals or reading series. Winners are chosen by a selection committee, a small group of recognized writers, literary scholars, and editors appointed every year by the Foundation.”

Source: Whiting.org

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