Simone Yasmin (she/her) is a Black writer and spoken word artist born and based in Leeds. Both her written and vocal work raises awareness for issues many choose to ignore in order to sit in comfort. Simone brings that discomfort into the centre of the room, pulling no wool over eyes with her blunt and realistic words.
Simone is an artivist and the intersection of race and feminism is often central to Simone’s work. Her own experiences navigating the world – a white, male world – as a Black woman, largely act as a catalyst for this. Her interlocking identities cannot be separated or extracted. Simone connects dots many are scared to, creating parallel lines to highlight injustice and amplify marginalised voices.
With every piece she produces, Simone hopes to make people feel. This quote from Anne Lamott chimes strongly in Simone’s ears as she imagines every piece. “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
Simone is influenced by her literary mothers Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde. Both wrote and spoke with intent, never apologising for their words. Their own conviction has encouraged Simone’s own work, and her unapologetic nature.
Earlier this year, Simone performed a spoken word piece in Trafalgar Square as part of the Women’s Equality Party ‘March On The Met’, support Lowkey in York, and she also sat on the judging panel for Leeds Poetry Festival’s poetry competition, selecting the winners and shortlisting which pieces should appear in the anthology. Simone has also worked on creative campaigns with brands such as Greenpeace UK, Black Minds Matter and Unicef.
In October 2022, Simone’s artwork was exhibited at The Tetley as part of ROOT-ed Zine’s first major exhibition ‘Retrospect, Reality, Reform’, commissioned by Jerwood Arts. The work is installed until 22 January 2023.
In 2020, Simone launched ‘Storytellers’, a monthly event inviting creatives to an inclusive and safe space, to gain feedback, confidence and trial new ideas. Through the Covid-19 pandemic, Simone hosted ‘Storytellers’ online, rebranding the event ‘Lockdown Stories’. She is a former co-facilitator of ‘Gassing with the Galdem’, an online discussion space for Black women, women of colour and marginalised genders.
You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.