Saturday morning at 8am on WCLK's The Local Take I speak with poet and author Bassey Ikpi about her new book I'm Telling The Truth, But I'm Lying. Ikpi is a mental health advocate who has shared information about her challenges after passing out during the Def Jam Poetry tour.
I ask about the different creative styles that she uses to inform and entertain and if her new book(which is a narrative story) was difficult to approach.
While Bassey is an advocate for mental health her work isn't "preachy or judgemental" I ask how she differs from the cultural narratives that exist. She speaks to the "self-help" stories, or "clinical" stories and "trauma porn" and that she wanted to step away from those tropes and share her story in her words. Her essays take on a poetic feel. Bassey speaks about the relationship that black women have to their own happiness.
The founder of the SIWE project, a non-profit organization that promotes mental health to members of the African diaspora wherever they may live, Ikpi mentions that anecdotes on mental health are the same in Nigeria, Kenya and the United States. She emphasizes that mental health is part of your overall physical health.
Bassey Ikpi will be in Atlanta with the Arts Exchange on September 11th at the Charis Bookstore.
For more information on Bassey Ikpi
For more informaton on the SIWE Project
For more information on I'm Telling The Truth But Then I'm Lying
To read an excerpt of one of her essays - What Bi-Polar II Feels Like