Conversations with Stacy Ann Chin

I’ve never been an open mic or poetry kind of girl, but I became one after interviewing the outspoken Jamaican-Chinese Poet, Staceyann Chin, for UP Magazine.


The interview was at the upscale Tribe hotel in Gigiri, and as a result I was able to attend her performance at the Southern Sun Hotel, courtesy of The Nest.

I will say that the barefoot and mic free poet was unforgettable. Her opening sentence included an expletive and a smile, so you know the audience was hooked. It was epic and as one audience member said, “The best KES 1000 I’ve spent this year!”

She touched on gender, race, sexuality and politics with the candour that she is famous for.The book reading, The Other Side of Paradise, explored some pretty hellish experiences that Chin had as a kid in Jamaica. This included sexual abuse and discrimination for being gay. At one point, she climbed a chair to demonstrate how she discovered her sexuality, and it helps that she re-enacted it quite humorously. I did note some audience members squirm (including me at times).

Warning: The video below should be watched with an open mind (and earphones).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBl6x-16iYc]