Sharon “Safiya” Henderson-Holmes (December 30, 1950 – April 8, 2001) was an African-American poet from New York.
She published two collections of poetry, had her work included in multiple anthologies, and received the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She was an assistant professor at Syracuse University at the time of her death.
She completed a BA from New York University, followed by a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in creative writing from City College. Henderson-Holmes later pursued post-graduate studies at Columbia University’s Teacher College.
In 1999, Henderson-Holmes received a fellowship from the New York Foundation of the Arts, but this award was followed soon after by a diagnosis of cancer. She developed a series of poetic narratives about her diagnosis and subsequent treatment, calling this poetic cycle “C-ing Colors”. Henderson-Holmes said that cancer made her feel “diminished”, and that “in order to outlive this disease, I needed more of me—not less—more weight, more desire”, which prompted her to write more poetry.
Henderson-Holmes died on April 8, 2001, aged 50. –Wikipedia