When speaking to poet Staceyann Chin, it’s hard not to be taken by the sound of her voice.

That voice — that honey-thick Jamaican accent that makes a point of emphasizing every other syllable — is unmistakable. Chin’s unique cadence has served her well, whether on stage at New York’s storied spoken-word spot the Nuyorican Cafe, on Broadway as an original performer on the Tony-Award winning “Russell Simmons: Def Poetry Jam” or during any one of her one-woman, autobiographical shows; it adds even more weight to her work about the space she occupies as a radical, progressive, half-black, half-Chinese lesbian who has adopted New York as her home after leaving her native country because of homophobic persecution.

Her voice has been a tumbling rush of passionate, revolutionary zeal (“I am at once livid / ashamed and paralyzed / by the neo-conservatism / breeding malicious amongst us”). But now, seated on a soft foam play rug composed of puzzle pieces in primary colors, it is calm. It is serene. It is the voice of a new mom.

“The feminist in me is frightened to say that Zuri’s arrival — motherhood — has made me more centered, more steeped in my politics. I worried that she would soften me in ways that would make me less effective as a human rights activist, but I think she’s underscored the need for that kind of work and has connected me with other women.”

Read more of Staceyann’s story and meet these other fabulous mothers at matermea.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.