Late Night Lit

Nadine J. Cohen, Peter Polites, Will Small + open mic spots!
Hosted by
Donné Restom
From 7pm
Thursday 23 November, 2023
Bar Toto, Ettalong Beach

$15 + booking fee


7:00pm – 9:00pm

USE THIS - WOW ALL Page Headers 2023 - Late Night Lit Nov 23

Late Night Lit

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

At Late Night Lit, soak up an evening of poetry, literary readings and other surprises with a delicious Bar Toto cocktail in hand.

For this final edition for 2023, join us in welcoming our guest speakers with extra sparkle, Nadine J. Cohen, Peter Polites and Will Small, alongside some out-sized local talent on the open mic. In her debut Everyone and Everything, Nadine J. Cohen, “hits the right balance of absurdity and dark humour” as she traces a year in the life of Yael, a young woman piecing herself back together after a breakdown, using the glue of ocean swims and intergenerational friendships. In the mesmerising God Forgets About the Poor, Peter Polites reimagines his Greek Australian mother as the mythological figure Medea. And in Poems for When the World is Ending, local wordsmith Will Small serves up a pithy and poignant collection of poems you won’t forget.

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

Please note: seating is unallocated. The Book Shop Umina will be bookseller for the evening; please support the authors, purchase their books and have them signed at the event.

Late Night Lit Thursday 23 November
From 7pm
Bar Toto
83/189 Ocean View Rd, Ettalong Beach
$15 + booking fee



Nadine J. Cohen

Nadine J. Cohen, also known as Nadine von Cohen, is a writer and refugee advocate from Sydney. Her musings can be found all over the internet, with bylines in The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, SMH, ABC, SBS, Frankie, Harper’s Bazaar and more. She co-founded and directed Hope for Nauru, a volunteer-run not-for-profit serving refugees and asylum seekers affected by offshore detention, from 2018 to 2023. Everyone and Everything is her debut novel.


Peter Polites

Peter Polites is a novelist from Western Sydney. He has written two acclaimed novels, Down the Hume and The Pillars, which won the 2020 NSW Premier’s Multicultural NSW Literary Award. He also won the 2020 Woollahra Digital Literature Prize for Fiction. In 2021 he was the ACT Writer in Residence at UNSW Canberra.


Will Small

Will Small is a poet and storyteller who has been performing his written words since he first entered a poetry slam in 2007. A 2× national finalist at the Australian Poetry Slam, Will is the author of Poems for When the World is Ending and All Things New and the founder of Lead by Story, a digital media company focused on social impact storytelling. Will’s poetry is both philosophical and personal, exploring the beauty, pain and complexity of being human.

About the Books

Everyone and Everything
By Nadine J. Cohen

A dazzling literary debut, Everyone and Everything will make you laugh, cry and call your sister.

When Yael Silver’s world comes crashing down, she looks to the past for answers and finds solace in surprising places. An unconventional new friendship, a seaside safe space and an unsettling amount of dairy help her to heal, as she wrestles with her demons – and some truly terrible erotic literature.

Funny and tender, Everyone and Everything is about friendship, grief and the deep, frustrating bond between sisters. It asks what makes us who we are and what leads us onto ledges. Perfect for fans of Meg Mason, Nora Ephron and Victoria Hannan, this is an intimate, wry and wise exploration of one woman’s journey to the brink and back.

God Forgets About the Poor
By Peter Polites

I will tell you why you should draft my story. Because migrant stories are broken. Some parts in a village where we washed our clothing with soot. Some parts in big cities working in factories. How we starved for food in Greece and starved for Greece in Australia.

You don’t know the first thing about me. A son can never see his mother as a woman. You will only see me in relation to you. I have had a thousand lives before you were even a thought. Hospitalised as a child for an entire year. Living as an adult without family in Athens when the colonels took control.

Start when I was born. Describe the village and how beautiful it was. On the side of a mountain but in the middle of a forest. If we walked to a certain point on the edge, we could look over the valley and see rain clouds coming. Sometimes we would see a cat on a roof, we read that as a warning of a storm. When we looked down, we saw the dirt, which was just as rich as the sky. My island, your island, our island.

Sometimes I think God forgot about us because we were poor.

A stunning new novel from the author of Down the Hume and The PillarsGod Forgets About the Poor is a love story to a migrant mother, whose story is as important as any ever told.

Poems for When the World is Ending
By Will Small

Poems for When the World is Ending is an honest and stirring collection of poems, grappling with what it means to be human in a beautiful, turbulent and complex world. Written between 2019 and 2022 these poems trace a period of history including ecological disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic, the erosion of democracy and several other large-scale disruptive and unsettling events. These poems reflect on personal life, parenting, spirituality and wonder, against the backdrop of life on a beautiful and apocalyptic planet.


With thanks to our event partners, The Book Shop Umina and Bar Toto Ettalong. This event is made possible through their unwavering support.