Late Night Lit

Omar Sakr, Yumna Kassab + open mic spots!
Hosted by
Donné Restom
From 7pm
Thursday 13 April, 2023
Bar Toto, Ettalong Beach


Thursday 13 April 2023, from 7:00pm

Settle into the old-world charm of Bar Toto, Ettalong’s neighbourhood trattoria for Late Night Lit, an evening of spoken word: poetry, literary readings and other surprises. Alongside invited guests Omar Sakr (Non Essential Work) and Yumna Kassab (The Lovers), you will also be able to enjoy electrifying open mic performances courtesy of local creatives.


7:00pm – 9:00pm


Late Night Lit

$15 + booking fee (beverages and food optional extras)

Settle into the old-world charm of Bar Toto, Ettalong’s neighbourhood trattoria for Late Night Lit, an evening of spoken word: poetry, literary readings and other surprises.

We are very excited to welcome two of Australia’s most searing new voices to the Central Coast for this instalment of Late Night Lit on Thursday April 13. Omar Sakr has been called “one of our essential poets,” by Kwame Dawes, and his unflinchingly honest latest collection Non-Essential Work dubbed, “a stunning achievement” by Driftpile Cree writer Billy Ray-Belcourt.  We are so lucky to hear some of the poems from this release, fresh off the press. And, alongside Omar will be fellow Western Sydney artist, Yumna Kassab. Yumna has astounded with assured, singular myth-laden novels to date: The House of Youssef, Australiana, and most recently, the fable The Lovers.

And as usual, we will hand the mic to you. We have a stellar array of local writers and artists lined up to share some new work with you as open mic participants.

Please join us for a glimpse into the future of Australian writing. The future is bright.

Please note: seating is unallocated.

Late Night Lit Thursday 13 April
From 7pm
Bar Toto
83/189 Ocean View Rd, Ettalong Beach
$15 + booking fee


Omar Sakr

Omar Sakr is the author of two acclaimed poetry collections, These Wild Houses (Cordite Books) and The Lost Arabs (UQP). The Lost Arabs won the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the John Bray Poetry Award, the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and the Colin Roderick Award. His first novel, Son of Sin (Affirm Press), was published to acclaim in 2022. Omar is a widely published essayist and editor whose work has been translated into Arabic and Spanish. Born to Lebanese and Turkish Muslim migrants in Western Sydney, he lives there still.

Yumna Kassab

Yumna Kassab is a writer from Western Sydney. She studied medical science and neuroscience at university. Her first book of short stories, The House of Youssef, has been listed for prizes including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Queensland Literary Award, NSW Premier’s Literary Award and The Stella Prize. Her works of fiction, Australiana, and The Lovers were published in 2022.

About the Books

Non-Essential Work
By Omar Sakr

In this exciting follow-up to his acclaimed collection The Lost Arabs, award-winning poet Omar Sakr delves deep into his loves and losses to create a riveting literary experience. Asking questions of timeliness and timelessness, ranging between the present and the past, Non-Essential Work is a restless and relentless volume that showcases a poet unquestionably in his prime.

The Lovers
By Yumna Kassab

What happens when we become used to each other, when we become bored, when we anticipate each other’s moods like the seasons cycled in a day? What happens when you are tired of me and I tire of you?

Every couple has a story. How they met, how they fell in love – their ups, their downs. What made them want to be in each other’s arms day and night. The struggle of family expectations. The need to please each other, the desire to go their separate ways. It is about the private universe between two people as they try to hold to each other despite the barriers of geography, culture and class.

Every couple has a beginning, a middle, and maybe an end.

The Lovers is an enchanting fable that explores the light and dark of a relationship – a love distilled down to its barest form. You might think you know this story. Maybe you do.