REVIEW: Crossfire: A Litany for Survival by Staceyann Chin

December 7, 2019

Crossfire: A Litany for Survival

Staceyann Chin

Crossfire collects Staceyann Chin‘s empowering, feminist-LGBTQ+, Caribbean, activist-driven poetry for the first time in a single book.  This is powerful urgent intersectional writing which is about the self, the one, the utter delight of being authentic.  A resident of New York City and a Jamaican National, she has been an “out poet and political activist” since 1998.  The New York Times said Chin is “sassy, rageful and sometimes softly self-mocking.”  Her poems certainly have a ravishing simplicity about them, not a word goes spare, no fuss or padding.  She can be laugh out loud funny, with the brilliance of a obsidian polished barbed aphorism then dip and shred you into a state of shock.

This is sharp honest writing that demands your attention, takes no prisoners, tears down the prisons of convention.    Chins effervescent poem’s spring from the page, challenge our ideas of acceptable language  or narrative flourish, slap us in the face with some ugly hard truth and pounces on your mind and keeps the pressure up to learn, to really, really understand on a deeper level and accept this unconditionally on her own terms.

Out now: £14.99