Bassey Ikpi is a Nigerian born poet/writer who was a featured cast member of the National Touring Company of the Tony Award winning Broadway show, Russell Simmon's Def Poetry Jam. Not a stranger to the stage, her poetry has also opened shows by Grammy Award winning artists, has earned her an appearance on the NAACP Image Awards as part of a tribute to Venus and Serena Williams, and has positioned her as a featured performer for Johannesburg, South Africa's annual arts festival, Joburg Arts Alive. Most recently, Bassey headlined the Three Rivers Arts Festival; and as it relates to media, she has graced the pages of such notable publications as Nylon, Marie Claire, Glamour and Bust.
With social commentary being a focus of her work, Bassey recorded an original poem for the Kaiser Foundation’s, HIV/AIDS campaign, Knowing Is Beautiful. She works as a freelance writer for several social media outlets on the topic of mental health, and is currently an Artist-In-Residence at several Philadelphia area schools. In addition to her writing, this past summer Bassey embarked on a 3 city tour, appropriately called “Basseyworld Live”, which infused poetry and interactive panel discussions on everything from politics to pop culture - with a huge emphasis on mental health issues. Not only did she headline each show, but she also moderated the panel discussions, which included special invited guests from various industries such as art, film and journalism.
As a mental health advocate, Bassey is currently working on a memoir documenting her life living with Bipolar II Disorder.