Following a successful debut event, The Ramblers Ball at Digbeth’s latest social enterprise café, Evolve, is set for a triumphant return this autumn. The open-mic poetry night will be returning on Wednesday 5 September, welcoming new headlining poets including Bethany Slinn and Mina Mekic, and returning poet, Casey Bailey.

Hosting a night including a line-up of lyrical geniuses, delicious coffee and cake, and the power of the spoken word, Evolve will be hosting its second poetry night, better known as The Ramblers Ball on Wednesday 5 September, making it a firm fixture for the Digbeth social enterprise café.

Evolve’s first Ramblers Ball event bought in £80 worth of donations from those who attended, and next month it’s hoping for even more contributions to be donated directly to the social enterprise’s mission of helping young people find and maintain employment. Taking place at Evolve’s Digbeth café, formerly known as the Adam & Eve pub, organisers of the event are thrilled that The Rambler’s Ball will now become an ongoing series for local talent to share what they love writing best.

The event is the brainchild and project of Evolve’s very own Sam James: he is the café’s coffee-connoisseur, but outside of work, Sam’s passion is for poetry.

Sam commented:

“I’ve always found poetry to be therapeutic and I’ve been writing it from a young age. My first open mic performance was a huge milestone for me and my confidence. From then I’ve been performing more regularly and each time I get a little braver. The first Rambler’s Ball was a great success, and I’m excited to meet even more talented local people at the next one in September!”

September’s Rambler’s Ball will be welcoming new poets Beth Slinn and support act, Mina Mekic. Bethany has performed across venues in Birmingham, featured at Level Up!, Howl, PA/NG, Verve Festival, and will be appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year in Autin Dance Theatre’s Queer Words.

Headliner poet, Bethany, comments:

“I’m thrilled to be part of Evolve’s second Rambler’s Ball, and I’m looking forward to listen to many more talented people share their work!  It will be great to dedicate a night to the power of the spoken-word and shine a spotlight on those who may not have showcased their talent before.”

Mina Mekic is a 17-year-old Bosnian poet. Raised in Birmingham, she expresses her emotions and attitudes towards adolescence through her work and aims to include the traditional influences in her life that affect her perceptions. She has performed at ‘Hit the Ode’ and ‘Why Not Words’, has recently featured in Nafeesa Hamid’s ‘Besharam’ and hopes to publish her own book of poetry in the future.

Making a return for the second time, Casey Bailey, poet, author, rapper and secondary school teacher, will also be sharing more of his incredible work.Born and raised in Nechells, his work has seen him on stages up and down the country, and recently on the screen with BBC Three. Casey’s debut poetry pamphlet ‘Waiting at Bloomsbury Park’ is published by Big White Shed (2017), and his first full collection ‘Adjusted’ (2018) is published by Verve Poetry Press.

Budding poets in Birmingham will also be able to get involved with The Rambler’s Ball, with pre-bookable open mic slots, as well as opportunities to sign up on the night. Whether they’re partial to a poem, a fan of flash fiction, or a sucker for a short story, guests can take the opportunity to perform material in front of some of the greats, as well as their family and friends. The Evolve team will also be on hand throughout the evening, serving up delicious fresh food, snacks and ethically-sourced coffee to attendees whilst they watch the poetry event unfold.

All of this incredible work, however, all leads back to doing good. A project of addiction charity Aquarius’, Evolve now has two cafes in Birmingham, both of which employing and training young people like Sam, who have faced barriers to employment through mental ill health. All proceeds from the café and its adjoining event space, where The Ramblers Ball will be held, will be invested directly back into helping to grow Evolve as a social enterprise, and enabling it to give a head start to more and more young people, who have previously struggled to find employment.

To register your interest or sign up for an open mic slot, please email will be available on the door, or you can sign up via our Eventbrite page: Guests are asked to pay what they can on arrival.

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