Poetry Readings, Classes and Prizes at the Troubadour: 263-267 Old Brompton Road, London SW5

“… life, literature, and the pursuit of happiness in the famous Troubadour cellar-club, London’s liveliest and best–loved poetry landmark since the 1950s …”

Former US Poet-Laureate Billy Collins on the Troubadour’s 60th birthday as a writer’s café…
           Thanks to the zeal of its many managers and promoters, the Troubadour has evolved over its 60 year history from a hidden-away beatnik coffee house to a world famous center for the performance of music and poetry. Its walls have become storied, and if only the place had halls, they would be hallowed. The Troubadour was the scene of the first reading I gave in the UK, and I count myself among the long line of poets who are eager to return and darken its doorway again.


from Coffee-House Poetry organiser, Anne-Marie Fyfe

With major-poet evenings advance-booking way ahead, I simply hadn’t expected such a fantastic turn-out last night for first Troubadour Monday after the break: what a great audience & what a great show of support for eight up-&-coming or ‘new collection’ — & all amazingly distinctive, dazzling — Troubadour showcase poets. Thanks, poets & audience!

Next up’s Brooklyn’s poet-laureate Dennis Nurkse in a fortnight’s time, back with us just a year after his set last spring – at your request, all those of you who write to tell me who went down well! With singer/guitarist Mark Ari, & a great bunch of new poets from Florida in a classic Troubadour opener, the Dennis Nurkse evening (Mon 29 May, see pic & details, right) will be busy, so do advance book or get down here early…

Dennis will read & talk about his writing in our Troubadour ‘interview’ format & he’s followed two weeks on by another great poet who’s also been here before, but not since early Coffee-House Poetry days, someone who’s gone on to achieve great popularity here, not just as a poet, but as a published essayist & a thoughtful & thought-provoking BBC Radio 4 voice pondering the meaning of death & how we deal with it, Michigan poet-&-undertaker, Thomas Lynch.

Both Dennis & Tom are offering Sunday classes, both, sadly, fully booked as soon as they were announced. Still a few places on next Sunday’s A Tree Grows themed writing-workshop (Sun 21 May), & on the extra WB Yeats walk Land of Heart’s Desire (Sun 25 Jun), that we’re offering as the last one was over-subscribed: full details on our classes page, & do check there from time to time for further workshop sessions between now & end-of-season, or join our e-list to keep up with events.

Poems starting to mount up already for our Troubadour International Poetry Prize judges (see details on our prizes page)… No rush, still lots of time, of course, but do start thinking about what you’re submitting well ahead of the Mon 16th Oct deadline!

readings - may-jun 2017

mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour

for advance booking: pay via PayPal (on readings page) or cheque to Coffee-House Poetry at PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP

  • mon 15 may: spring fever: with elaine gaston, jon stone, claire dyer, alistair noon, ruth sharman, nick makoha, michael scott & penny boxall plus singer/guitarist henry fajemirokun
  • mon 29 may states of writing: with d. nurkse, reading & in-conversation plus, before the break, poets from university of north florida, plus singer/guitarist mark ari
  • mon 12 jun: a matter of life & death: the much-loved, & award-winning, michigan poet, essayist & undertaker, thomas lynch, reading & in-conversation
  • mon 26 jun: planet earth: poetry party with guest readers, music & prize-quiz on the theme of planets & perseids, stars & satellites, orbits, galaxies & constellations…

See full details of this season’s poetry readings

classes - may-jun 2017

sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 at the troubadour

(except yeats walk, sunday 25th jun, 2.30-5 pm, £18 from ravenscourt park tube)

advance booking only as our workshops/classes (limited to 15 attendees) are frequently oversubscribed: pay via PayPal (see classes page) or cheque to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP: if overbooked you’ll be informed by e-mail & refunded promptly

  • sun 21 may, 12-3.30 pm: a tree grows: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 28 may, 12-3.30 pm: masterclass: critical workshop with d. nurkse (now fully booked)
  • sun 11 jun, 12-3.30 pm: genre bending: writing workshop with thomas lynch (now fully booked)
  • sun 25 jun, 2.30-5 pm, £18: land of heart’s desire: a wb yeats walk with cl dallat
  • nb: do check website later for further may-jun workshops or sign up for newsletter

See full details of this season’s classes and workshops

next event

mon 29 may: states of writing: with d. nurkse, reading & in-conversation plus, before the break, poets from university of north florida, plus singer/guitarist mark ari

  • We’re delighted to have back, by popular demand after last year’s stunning Troubadour reading, former Brooklyn poet-laureate Dennis Nurkse, whose parents fled Nazi Europe during World War II, & who has written on human rights issues, worked with Amnesty International, & published numerous books of poetry with Knopf in the US. Dennis reads from Voices over Water (2011) & A Night in Brooklyn (2012), both with CB Editions in the UK, & discusses writing, roots & relevance (among other things) with CL Dallat;
  • plus, before the break, poets from University of North Florida Ash Kemker, Avelina Acosta, Emly Kubacki, Gabriel Bugarin, Teresa ‘T’ Jacobson, Gina Olson, Tiffany Butler, Joseph Lusi, Kim Brown, Kimmie McKibbin, Corrine Schmaltz, Sidney Brooks;
  • plus singer/guitarist, (& writer, painter & EAT Poems editor) Mark Ari.


Date: 6th January 2017

Dear Poetry Fans

A surprising Christmas to New Year break with bright days, clear skies, mild nights, & some time for blue-skies thinking, quite literally, as our first Sunday Gallery workshop, In the Clouds, explores clouds in all their impressive & oppressive magnificence & tedium, our first party night, Weather Report, celebrates meteorological poetry (or poems with at least a tenuous weather connection!) & Planet Earth, our midsummer celebration — under classic clear solstice night skies — will have us listening to (& reading) poems on planets, perseids, meteor showers & every known form of heavenly body.

But time for metaphorical blue-skies thinking too, as our recent programmes (& the very successful autumn season which kicked off our 20th Coffee-House Poetry at the Troubadour year) show, it’s very much your Troubadour, with more & more of our first-halves affording new & aspiring poets a chance to read on the famous Troubadour stage, whether as Dom Bury’s ‘before the break’ guest choices or Live Canon’s Shakespearean sonneteers last season or, this time, University of North Florida MFA students, & poetry alumni of London’s Faber Academy.

Both our showcases (in January & May) feature eight new poets or poets with new collections: & our party nights allow an increasing number of invited guest poets, Troubadour favourites & poets who are regular audience or workshop members, to read to an always-imaginative theme.

And when we talk of Troubadour favourites, among the outstanding

Read more …

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Other content: copyright © Coffee–House Poetry 2008–2017. All rights reserved.

The Troubadour is at 263–267 Old Brompton Road, London SW5.

See www.troubadour.co.uk for details, and our contact page for directions and a map.

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