Friday, April 18, 2003

The NY Times runs a story today on Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, the rap-verse extravaganza that since November last year has put slam poetry centrestage in the mainstream NY theatre scene. One of the nine poets in the production is Jamaica-born Staceyann Chin, who moved to the US nearly six years ago & has rapidly become a leading figure in the slam poetry circuit; the Times piece includes a brief profile ("Ms. Chin would not go so far as to call herself happy. 'I think happiness is more a journey than a place,' she said. 'I'm on my way there.'").

And it turns out she also has a blog, where she writes about her old life in Jamaica, her new life in NY, the unexpectedness of fame:

Learning to read my poems to small crowds again. Small groups of friends who care about the words more than they do the laughter.

I have enjoyed Broadway. Still believe it is important. Half the people who come to see those shows would never see a person like me in the mainstream. The show is still very important for so many reasons....

So I am reading my poems in small rooms. Like the one I sleep in. To people who care about them. Even if they are not loud or angry or fierce. I am reading to old lovers and hands that hold me now, and friends and sometimes, I read to myself. To remind me. That I am trying to be a writer. Not a rockstar. Not a celebrity. Not a person who people reconize and say hi to on the A train. I am one of millions of people who are just trying to save the world.

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