O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Why Not Words, with Casey Bailey

An outstanding new voice in Birmingham, Casey Bailey, heads up the first Why Not Words

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: June, 2018
Casey Bailey offers tough and touching work. He is a poet you have to see perform live
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: June, 2018
Casey Bailey offers tough and touching work. He is a poet you have to see perform live

Why Not Words
featuring Casey Bailey + Open Mic
Why Not Coffee
594 Bearwood Road, Bearwood, 7-9pm
June 21st

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. 


Casey Bailey online
Why Not Coffee on Facebook
Contact whynotcoffeeltd@gmail.com for open mic queries.

see more stories from outsideleft's Fiction & Poetry archive »»

Jason Lewis
UK Music Editor

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.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

The Funky Future is Now
There's a Kind of Hush: Richard Youngs and Sandro Perri
Listen close and the strange sounds of Richard Youngs and Sandro Perri will lure you into their respective quiet, weird worlds.
You Goat, Girl
Goat Girl's Debut LP is the Delamere to your more Monotonous Milk. Or something.
Faisal Hussain. Suspect Objects Suspect Subjects
Faisal Hussain's latest show runs at Centrala until September 14th
300 Words From London: Let Them Eat Snakes
An instant rebate at My Beautiful Laundrette
What can a shut-in do to save the world
Some of our favorite things...