Why Not Words
featuring Casey Bailey + Open Mic
Why Not Coffee
594 Bearwood Road, Bearwood, 7-9pm
Bearwood's newest coffee shop, Why Not? brought a much needed artsy eclectic urban and urbane tone to a stretch of the main drag that has had locals in long-term despair. This week sees their inauguaral poetry jam, Why Not Words, featuring Casey Bailey.
Born and Raised in Nechells, Bailey's heartfelt mix of spoken word poetry and rapping is filled with poignant insights. 'Dear Birmingham', his ambivalent love letter to his home town mixes local pride with reflections on tragic young deaths, including the murder of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare.
Elsewhere he mourns loss of local industries, the collapse of Rover and the piercing observation 'I never knew Cadbury could be so Crafty'.
Bailey has two critically acclaimed books of his work available, his debut, Waiting At Bloomsbury Park and Verve the upstart local poetry press, have just put out 'Adjusted'.
Casey's words hit hard. Broke vs Broken contrasts those without wealth with those with riches but are 'broken' inside. His poem 'Wax' is a meditation on the need to escape the things that confine us and contains one of his most powerful refrains:
'He told me he would fly to the sun,
I told him that's what Icarus said'.
It is a tough and touching work. He is a poet you have to see perform live.
'Why Not Words' promises to be an exciting and inspiring event. Wordsmiths from Bearwood and beyond will be able to share their work, in whatever form, in the friendly surrounds of the splendid independent coffee shop.
Why Not Words continues on the 3rd Thursday of each month with a similar open mic and headliner format.
Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.