“Bassam writes poems that feel like slow motion car crashes where, at every turn, you’re also reassured that it’s ok to feel like this, like even if nothing is going to be ok, there is strength to hold like a parking brake, like the axis of a planet. Bassam’s words are a gut punch, a pull to beating heart chest, a hand that holds yours in the bleak. One senses that the act of poetry for Bassam is truly one of survival. What a strength it takes to show our deepest insecurities, to not ask for forgiveness. To not be the hero of your own story. Bassam is a bright non binary voice. One that asks not for acceptance, but simply is, and tells the stories of body and mind that is so intimate and accessible to those of us who endlessly battle with our shapes, our selves. What a gift to give.”
—Charlie Petch, Spoken Word Artist, Playwright, Musician
Bassam (they/them or xe/xim) is a spoken word poet, proud auntie, and settler residing on the traditional territory of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant (Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendatt, and Mississaugas of the New Credit). they are a member of the League of Canadian Poets, an executive board member with Spoken Word Canada, and has toured Turtle Island performing spoken word. Bassam earned title of national poetry slam champion at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) in 2016 with the Guelph Poetry Slam team, and Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) finalist in 2017. they were editor-in-chief for ‘these pills don’t come in my skin tone’, a poetry collection exclusively by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) on the topic of mental health and illness, released in fall 2017. a (gender)queer, Jewish person of Middle-Eastern descent and a long-time sufferer of body dysmorphia, bipolar and eating disorders, bassam believes in radical kindness as resistance to colonization, that there is no peace without justice, and that intersectionality is vital in the struggle against kyriarchy.