A line up of lyrical geniuses; wonderful coffee and cake; the power of the spoken word; and a great cause… bringing all this together is social enterprise café, Evolve’s, first venture into the world of performance poetry! Named The Ramblers Ball, the event will take place on 4 July, with headlining poets Casey Bailey and Adjei Dsane taking to the stage. Budding bards will also be pleased to know that they can join the home-grown talents performing: there will be open mic spaces, with all welcome.

The Ramblers Ballis set to be one to write home about, with all profits from the night going directly back to the social enterprise’s mission of helping young people find and maintain employment. Taking place at Evolve’s Digbeth space, located in the former Adam & Eve pub, the organisers are hoping that the event will be the start of an ongoing series, giving local talent a permanent platform to be heard from.

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

“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. Now, this feels like the next big step and I’m so proud to be bringing my idea to life! I hope that it highlights the amazing talent we have in this city and gives other people the same opportunities that I’ve been able to enjoy.”

Headlining the event will be local poets, Adjei Dsane and Casey Bailey. Adjei Dsane is an 18 year Barbadian and Ghanaian artist, whose poetry touches upon themes of self-love and expression. He is currently working on an anthology of poems, runs his own event called Indigo Nights, and is also part of the Birmingham Rep Lightpost Theatre Company which is an all-black male 18-25 theatre company.

Speaking of the Ramblers Ball, Adjei Dsane commented:

“Evolve is the perfect location for the first Ramblers Ball event, as its ethos of encouraging young people to express themselves in a safe and healthy way ties in well with the idea that poetry- particularly spoken word poetry- can be a way to let go of negativity and to encourage oneself to grow as a person.”

Casey Bailey is a poet, spoken word performer, author, facilitator, rapper and secondary school senior leader, born and raised in Nechells, Birmingham. 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). His first full collection ‘Adjusted’(2018) is published by Verve Poetry Press.

Casey Bailey added:

“Birmingham’s poetry community is really one of the best in the country. Everybody is so supportive, whether you’re an established or an emerging poet, and there are plenty of events that poets can showcase their work at. The Ramblers Ball is going to be a great new addition to the poetry scene, and I can’t wait to check out the talent.”

Not only will Adjei and Casey delight the audience with their wonderful poetry, but any budding poets in Birmingham will be able to get involved as well, with pre-bookable open mic slots, as well as opportunities to sign up on the night, if attendees have a last-minute spur of confidence! Whether their 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, friends, and anybody they’d like to bring along to enjoy the phenomenal talent on the night.

Evolve is looking forward on making its mark on Birmingham’s thriving poetry scene and cementing its status as a must-visit destination for those who love quality food and drink, stellar service, and being part of the community. As well as hosting The Ramblers Ball, Evolve will also be offering attendees the chance to try its incredible selection of coffee, cakes, fresh food, and snacks, ensuring that no one leaves hungry.

On top of this, it all goes 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 come from disadvantaged backgrounds such as substance misuse or mental health issues. All proceeds from the café and its adjoining meeting/event space, where The Ramblers Ballwill 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.

“Working at Evolve has been a great experience, allowing me to really express myself. Having the opportunity and the support to make The Ramblers Ballhappen has been amazing, and the event really encompasses everything that I feel Evolve is passionate about- encouraging young people to enhance their confidence and giving them the opportunity to shine.”

To register your interest, find out more, or sign up for an open mic slot, performers should contact Tickets will be available on the door, or you can sign up on our Eventbrite page: Guests are asked to pay what they can on arrival.


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