Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Her first full-length collection, Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), won the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and a 2016 Whiting Writers’ Award.

Sinclair's poems have appeared in Poetry magazine, the Kenyon Review, The Nation, New England Review, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, the Gettysburg Review, TriQuarterly, the Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Amy Clampitt Residency Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner, and won the 2015 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest. In 2015, she was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.

Sinclair earned her MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia, and she is currently a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.