April 08, 2019

Our Minds Our Future: Open-mic and poetry event!

Zoe & Zee

Two of our Leeds-based Rights Advocates, Zoe and Zee, are hosting their very own poetry event to raise awareness of the #OurMindsOurFuture campaign.

  • Time: 16:00-19:00pm
  • Date: Saturday 4th May
  • Location: Opposite Cafe, 26 Blenheim Terrace, Leeds, LS2 9HD

Join us for a cosy and intimate evening of poetry tackling the theme of young people’s mental health. As well as an open-mic session, we have an impressive list of headline poets (see below!) who will be sharing their words throughout the evening.

It’s going to be a warm and inclusive space, and supportive atmosphere – so please don’t shy away if you have something to say! Come down and have your voice heard, we can’t wait to welcome you 😊 Register for your free tickets here:


Gregory Poet: Greg is a Leeds-based poet who also works in education. He is passionate about topics such as race, colonialism, and toxic masculinity.

Find him on Instagram at @gregorypoet1

Mike Southwell: a Leeds based spoken word artist, his work is inspired by hip hop and he explores themes such as masculinity, mental health, addiction, politics, relationships and fatherhood.

After a few years away from writing, Mike started performing again in 2017. In 2018 Mike took up a residency at The Sunday Practise (TSP), a live music and spoken word night in Leeds. During his residency he was part of the winning TSP slam team that competed in the 4×4 slam.

Mike has performed his poetry as a featured artist at the following events: Outspoken – Ls6 cafe, S.W.A.L.K – Cafe lux ( Pudsey ), Say it with your chest – Wharf chamber, Open source arts, Autumn equinox open stage, Winter Solstice open stage, The hive festival – Hyde park book club, Cloth cat , Instrumental – Inkwell arts, chapel allerton, The beeston festival, Hyde park unity day, Blur the lines – Leeds lit fest.

He has also performed at charity events helping to raise funds for causes such as The Grenfell Tower survivors fund, Leeds Mind and pro Palestine charities; has featured on 5 towns radio performing his poetry; and has 2 of his spoken word pieces recorded professionally by Urban Soul and Entheos media group.

He also performs regularly on the open Mic circuit in Leeds and West Yorkshire.

Ògún: Taiwo ‘Ògún’ Ogunyinka is a narrator. He tells the stories of his life and those he observes in a general rhyming pattern. His work explores concepts of race and masculinity in Britain and beyond, the trials and tribulations of 20-somethings, and autobiographies of young men who are more sensitive than they would admit. Expect thought-provoking firebrand poetry. He is based in Leeds, and is part of the group AKT 3 and one of the organisers of Say It With Your Chest.

Find Ògún on Instagram/ Facebook/ Soundcloud at
@ogunpoeticking and watch his work on Youtube via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SCmh5wyy_k&t=108s

Sharena Lee: Author of Testing Times, Broken Chains and Unapologetic, Sharena is also a very passionate poet and uprising voice in Braford, West Yorkshire – spreading her empathy and love of poetry in her local community. She writes poetry about her own personal life, current environmental issues, social stigmas, homelessness, poverty and discrimination.

She shares her love of spoken word through performance art and has contributed immensely this past year. She has facilitated Spoken word events and has worked closely with schools delivering Poetry workshops.

Sharena has recently being associated with: Kala Sangam (The artist takeover), The south square arts centre, Mend, Saltaire festival, Ilkley Lit festival, Bradford Libraries, Leeds Lieder, BBC Leeds, Drystone radio, Bcb Radio

Steve Nash: Steve Nash is a writer, performer, musician, born in Yorkshire and raised on Army Barracks across the UK and Europe. Steve is a widely and internationally published poet, and he also won the Saboteur Award for ‘Best Spoken Word Performer’ from a shortlist that included Kate Tempest and Hollie McNish. Steve was awarded a Ph.D in literature studies from York St John University.

He currently works as a Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, and as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Derby. Steve strongly suspects he may be a superhero after escaping a near-fatal car accident in 2013, and a neurological malfunction that resulted in a coma in 2017. It is not clear yet what his special powers are though.

His first collection was released by York’s own Stairwell Books, and his latest collection ‘Myth Gatherers’ is due for release in the next couple of weeks.You can find out more about him at www.stevenashwrites.com

Enas Saeed: a trainee counsellor, poet and visual artist. She started writing at 13 years old and joined Leeds Young Authors (LYA) as a means to express her self.  Her poetry and short stories delves into themes such as womanhood, religion, mental health and identity. Enas’s work was displayed as part of studio 12 manifesto in verse, at Leeds art library for the 100 year anniversary of women rights to vote.


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