Appropriate Be Damned

Poet Staceyann Chin on Her Journey to See Herself as a Poet Worthy of an Anthology


Award-winning poet, performer, novelist, and activist Staceyann Chin has just published her first anthology of poems. She has been featured on Broadway, HBO, and Russell Simmons’ “Def Poetry Jam” and her latest one woman show, “MotherStruck,” was adapted for film and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019. In this episode, Laura interviews Chin about the anthology, Crossfire, and her relationship to a cannon dominated by white men. Despite her success, Chin says that, until recently, she didn’t see herself as a real poet, a poet worthy of an anthology, because her work centers her experiences as a lesbian and a Jamaican national of mixed Chinese and African descent. Laura and Chin unpack the stories behind belief, and then Chin gives a riveting performance of several poems from Crossfire. Appropriate be damned.

“Courage is not acting without anxiety or fear; it is acting in the face of it.”


  • Staceyann Chin, Poet, actor, activist, and performing artist

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