The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir by Staceyann Chin

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Staceyann Chin is a 35-year-old spoken word poet born in Jamaica and living in New York City. Chin is a full-time artist. Openly lesbian, she has been an “out poet and political activist” since 1998. In addition to performing in and co-writing the Tony-nominated Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Chin has appeared in Off-Broadway one-woman shows and at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She has also held poetry workshops worldwide. Chin credits her accomplishments to her hard-working grandmother’s and the pain of her mother’s absence.
Her work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Pittsburgh Daily, as well as being featured on “60 Minutes.” Her poems can be found in her first chapbook, Wildcat Woman, the one she now carries on her back, Stories Surrounding My Coming, and numerous the anthologies, including Skyscrapers, Taxis and Tampons, Poetry Slam, Role Call, Cultural Studies: Critical Methodologies. Staceyann’s voice can be heard on CD compilations out of Bar 13- Union Square, Pow Wow productions and many more. She is a host on Logo’s After Ellen internet show “She Said What?” and a co-host of BET J‘s My Two Cents.
Chin’s “activist driven”work has garnered praise in various publications. Of her one-woman show Border/Clash, The New York Times wrote that Chin “is sassy, rageful and sometimes softly self-mocking.” The Advocate wrote, “With poems that combine hilarious one-liners (“I told her I liked the way she made that pink push-up bra look intellectual”) with a refusal to conform (“I want to be the dyke that fucks men”), Chin is out to confront more than just the straight world.” And in the book, Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, author Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz referred to Chin as “definitely the prize to win” among the three New York City Poetry Slam venues during the years she competed, adding:

To watch Chin perform is to watch the very essence of poetry manifested: her performances are imperfect, volatile and beautiful. Chin’s poetry is passionate and well-written, sure; but it’s her ability to communicate that passion in performance that is unparalled. She becomes the poetry.

Big up sista!

Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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