Staceyann Chin - Writer and Activist

6:30 pm in Paresky Auditorium

Staceyann Chin is a fulltime writer and activist. Recipient of the 2007 Power of the Voice Award from The Human Rights Campaign, the 2008 Safe Haven Award from Immigration Equality, the 2008 Honors from the Lesbian AIDS Project, and the 2009 New York State Senate Award, she identifies as Caribbean and Black, Asian and lesbian, woman and resident of New York City. Chin is the author of the memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, published by Scribner. Simon and Schuster, Inc. Widely known as co-writer and original performer in the Tony award winning, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, her poetry has seen the rousing cheers of the Nuyorican Poets’ Café, one-woman shows Off-Broadway, writing-workshops in Sweden, South Africa, and Australia. A proud Jamaican National, Staceyann’s voice was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, where she spoke candidly about her experiences of growing up on the island and the dire consequences of her coming-out there.

Chin is quick to say her activist life began with fury of performance poetry. Winner of the 1999 Chicago People of Color Slam, the 1998 Lambda Poetry Slam, the 1998 and 2000 Slam This, and WORD: The First Slam for Television, she also took the American Amazon Slam title in Aarhus, Denmark in 2000. Chin has enjoyed great success globally; she has been featured by access programs across the US and Europe, by radio stations and theaters like The Joseph Pap Public Theatre in New York, and Sweden’s Kanon Hallen, with numerous performances in London, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, St. Lucia, England, Jamaica and New York’s own Central Park- Summer Stage.

NYU, Pace, Willamette, Holy Cross, Harvard, Cornell, University of Illinois, University of New Hampshire, University of Miami, University of California at San Diego, Grinnell College, Yale University and The University of the West Indies are only a few of the colleges and Universities at which she has been a guest speaker and performer. Publications, including A, Everybody, Mosaic, Curve, Venus, Essence and Next magazines, The New York Foundation for the Arts’ (NYFA’s) FYI, and Jane, The North Independent Weekly, The Ekstra Bladet, The Politiken, Retorik Magasinet, Berlingske The New York Newsday, The Jamaica Gleaner, The Village Voice, The Orlando Weekly Drum Voices, The Shades Newsletter The New York Times, The New York and Washington Blade, The South African Times, have all featured Staceyann and her prose, poems and essays.