Once a month, on one of the many backstreets of Gzira, you will find a quaint and cosy bar playing host to a soothing and relaxing night of storytelling and poetry, courtesy of some of Malta’s very talented writers and poets. Welcome to the Casey’s Bar Spoken Word Evening.
That’s right, Malta is not all about big baselines and killer hip-hop, there is another cultural stone that has been upturned by Natalie and Richard who own and run the bar.
Casey’s Bar is a venue that regularly hosts live music and comedy nights, so this place is no stranger to Malta’s upcoming talent, but this night is a much more niche.
This event, which takes place on the last Thursday of each month, is one of very few events that allows writers on the island to showcase their work in a relaxed and open minded environment.
The venue is perfectly suited for such an event, with a low lit room, furnished with comfy chairs and sofas, topped off with some marvelous ambient jazz to listen to during the breaks. This place allows one to really kick back with a beer or wine, close one’s eyes and absorb the words of writers pouring their thoughts and feelings out to anyone who is willing to listen.
It was a wonderful mix of all things human. With each of the writers dealing with a different element of the world we live in.
Whether the writers were connecting you with nature, whisking you away to magical lands, or detailing ideas of self and human relationships, this event was a place where you could simply relax and think about the purest of thoughts.
However, this is much more unconventional and free flowing than many nights of poetry and storytelling that some people who possess negative feelings about literary events would be be skeptical of.
For example, one notable act saw us thrown into late 18th century working class Scottish culture, by one gentleman reciting a poem from this era. This chap, who was originally from Scotland, put his all into a superb thick Scottish accent to express the authentic feelings that were supposed to be permeate from the original.
As well as this, there was a fair share of laughs too. One talented lady retold a hilarious story of a jealous wife’s fear of adultery slowly unraveling into something woke and contemporary, but masterly told in a way that had the whole audience grinning.
The event showcased a plethora of distinctive styles which allowed audience to enjoy a whole spectrum of emotions and experience spoken word in a refreshingly quirky form.
Although Casey’s is the the venue, its true origins are thanks to Johan Emeren, who is present in many of the literary circles around the island. Originally from Sweden, he discovered that despite the many open mic nights present on the island, there was no event for one to express themselves in a more tranquil medium. Looking for a place to spread his own work, as well as that of the many creatives on the island, he approached the bar, who, open minded as ever, gladly accepted. Thanks to him, residents of Malta now have an event to express themselves, or simply, just sit, listen and unwind.
This event is a truly jovial one and is well worth attending if you are looking to get away from the pressures of the real world and escape to different ones.
The event will take place again in a couple of weeks, so stay up to date about the next one by liking Casey’s Bar on Facebook here.
Words By: William Macmaster