On March 23, MoCADA hosted a special Women’s History Month edition of Griot Talks, featuring legendary poets Staceyann Chin and aja monet, as they explored sisterhood, expanding our idea of home, reclamation of the land and more through the lens of their respective projects: Monet’s audio project VOICES and Chin’s Kindred on the Rock community and art preservation project.
Griot Talks is MoCADA’s conversation series that invites thought-leaders who share common ground to explore their projects and current events relevant to African and the diaspora.
Poet, actor, and performing artist Staceyann Chin is the author of the new poetry collection Crossfire: A Litany For Survival, the critically acclaimed memoir The Other Side of Paradise, cowriter and original performer in the Tony Award–winning Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, and author of the one-woman shows Hands Afire, Unspeakable Things, Border/Clash, and MotherStruck. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and 60 Minutes, and her poetry been featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post. She proudly identifies as Caribbean, Black, Asian, lesbian, a woman, and a resident of New York City, as well as a Jamaican national..
FOLLOW ON IG: @staceyannchin
aja monet is a surrealist blues poet, storyteller, and organizer born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She won the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam poetry award title in 2007 and aja monet follows in the long legacy and tradition of poets participating and assembling in social movements. Her first full collection of poems is titled, My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter on Haymarket Books. Her poems explore gender, race, migration, and spirituality. In 2018, she was nominated for a NAACP Literary Award for Poetry and in 2019 was awarded the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award for Poetry for her cultural organizing work in South Florida. aja monet cofounded a political home for artists and organizers called, Smoke Signals Studio. She facilitates “Voices: Poetry for the People,” a workshop and collective in collaboration with Community Justice Project and Dream Defenders. She is currently working on her next full collection of poems entitled, Florida Water. aja monet also serves as the new Artistic Creative Director for V-Day, a global movement to end violence against all women and girls.
FOLLOW ON IG: @ajamonet
Made possible thanks to NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, New York Council on the Arts, and the Ford Foundation.