POETS TO KNOW: HEATHER BEAMISH


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HEATHER BEAMISH

Toronto-based poet, spoken word artist and writer of Jamaican and Métis descent. Through her work, Heather explores the intersection where culture meets identity and finding the power in controlling your personal narrative.


Check out some of Heather’s work below and where to follow her for more.

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The swirling difference of my heritage puzzles you

You stare at my hair, my fair skin and try to analyze my accent for some hint of lineage

But what your peering gaze fails to detect is the fusion of worlds that pumps through my veins

You see, I am the product of nations colliding

Not a half-breed, but fully breed as a creation of intersecting wonder

These lines are both colored-in with care and leaving just the right amount of white space for my uniqueness to be accentuated

So next time you come up to me and ask, “What are you?!”, you will understand why I pause before trying to summarize my mystery


Gone are the days of needing knights and their shiny armor

And helpless damsels lying around all distressed and cute

Instead, strong, driven women are growing up looking for partners who will help them stay grounded

Not sweep them away into some make-believe fairy tale

These self-aware-princesses aren’t spending their days gazing into mirrors to tell them who they are

They have taken the time to unpack baggage, set healthy boundaries and fill their lives with love and positivity

They don’t need a person to compliment or complete them

They want a warm-hearted, open-minded, adventurous lover, who is committed to growth, laughter and listening

They want an equal

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I sit here thinking about my heritage ready to engage…

Scanning my memories for moments of connectedness that I could bring to center stage
But as I review my childhood narratives I see assimilation on every page
Being encouraged to explore my white interests and told my black ones to cage
Straighten your hair, pull up your pants
Turn off that reggae, don't move like that when you dance
Enunciate your words, don't hang with that crowd
Marry a white man, it will make your family proud


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Black history

Wack history

People painting our story as just a crack history

Missing the facts so you could call it a lack history

A country built on broken backs, remembering this makes me want to attack history

But it’s important to face and unpack history

So that we don’t reenact history

Backtrack history

This black history