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

A rather special highlight of our Troubadour60 year coming up next.

In our ‘evening with Roger McGough’ we’ll hear Roger read: & we’ll hear about his unique role in bridging poetry’n‘rock’n‘roll, in shaping popular attitudes to poetry over a generation, in bringing a distinctive Liverpool perspective to the wider culture, in crossing media boundaries. Is he now poetry’s ‘patron saint’ (according to Carol Ann Duffy), or is he still its strolling Troubadour, its anarchic court jester?

After our very special ‘in-conversations’ with Paul Muldoon & Mark Doty in the past year, who better to star in our final season of the Troubadour’s celebrations of poetry & music from ‘the ‘sixties & after’?

(In the Troubadour Poetry Prize schedule it’s that magical time when the admin team hands over to our team of judges, thoughtful deliberation replacing high-pressure sorting & cataloguing of your entries. Watch out for results after our prizewinners night, Mon 1st Dec—winners will, of course, have been notified in advance, on Mon 24th Nov.)

And see you all on Monday 3rd Nov!

next event

mon 3 nov: an evening with roger mcgough: leading liverpool poet, performer & radio4 poetry presenter, roger mcgough, with songs from bernadette reed

  • Ever since his poetry first appeared in The Mersey Sound In 1967 (& sold over half-a-million copies) Roger McGough has been a fascinating & highly popular cross-cultural figure recording three Top-10 singles (& The Liver Birds theme) with The Scaffold, contributing to Yellow Submarine, appearing in a Beatles mockumentary, translating Molière, recording a one-minute version of The Wreck of the Hesperus, publishing around 30 poetry collections (with another dozen or so for kids) & currently presenting BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please: Roger is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature & President of The Poetry Society
  • plus, after the break, Roger, in-conversation & Q&A with poet, musician & broadcaster C.L. Dallat
  • plus songs from jazz/acoustic singer/songwriter Bernadette Reed whose 2009 album Walking on Water explores sound, form and the silent radiant emptiness that permeates creation: with Ian Salmon (guitar) & Le’Voy Wilson (keyboards)

readings - oct-dec 2014 - troubadour60

mondays 8-10 pm, £8 (concs. £7)

advance booking: send cheque payable to Coffee-House Poetry (no credit cards) to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON, W4 1ZP stating event & no. of tickets

  • mon 6 oct: stateside troubadours with poets: philip fried, margo taft stever, tim nolan, susana case, robert peake, jennifer millitello, daphne warburg astor & owen lewis with henry fajemirokun
  • mon 20 oct: what we should have said: an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig with paul farley, jean sprackland, richard douglas pennant, marios takoushis & stuart silver with — before the break — Faber Academy tutors jo shapcott & daljit nagra with recent Faber Academy poets…
  • mon 3 nov: an evening with roger mcgough: leading liverpool poet, performer & radio4 poetry presenter, roger mcgough, with songs from bernadette reed
  • mon 17 nov: poetry school poets: plus poetry school tutors mimi khalvati & tamar yoseloff with songs from rosie taylor
  • mon 1 dec: eighth annual troubadour international poetry prize night: neil astley, amy wack & 2014 prizewinners
  • mon 15 dec: out of the blue! azure-themed end-of-season reading with invited guest poets & favourite poems of blue eyes, Mediterranean seas, indigo nights, deep blue moods…

See full details of this season’s poetry readings

classes - oct-dec 2014 - troubadour60

hh4. sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 (concs. £24)

advance booking only, as our workshops/classes (limited to 15 attendees) are frequently oversubscribed: send cheque payable to Coffee-House Poetry (no credit cards) to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON, W4 1ZP

  • sun 16 nov, locked rooms: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 30 nov, electric light: a seamus heaney seminar with c.l. dallat
  • sun 14 dec, stop all the clocks: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

NB: each of the above workshops was over-subscribed last season & has a waiting list but all 3 have places available…

See full details of this season’s classes and workshops

Star guest Roger McGough, reading & in-conversation, Mon 3rd Nov, book now!

Let Me Die a Youngman’s Death

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death

Roger McGough
…from (Collected Poems, Penguin)

autumn 2014 newsletter

Date: 1st September 2014

Dear Autumn Poets

Great to be back in town for the final season of our Troubadour60 year, a fizzingly celebratory line-up that features Troubadour favourites like Roger McGough (in-conversation!), Mimi Khalvati, Neil Astley, Paul Farley, Amy Wack, Tamar Yoseloff & Jean Sprackland, along with a selection of transatlantic poets in our kick-off US showcase, our 2014 Poetry Prize winners, a school of up-&-coming Poetry School poets & the best of London’s trending poets at our end-of season party (with its blue, blue theme).

I’m just settling in after an exciting Jul/Aug, with a poetry-filled, as always, Hewitt Summer School week in Armagh, & an even more poetry-packed time at L’Age Baston, in France, where Troubadour regulars escaped from summer-in-the-city to workshop daily in a luxury château & its inspirational landscape: plus dejeuners al-fresco, village walks, discussions under Van-Gogh starry night skies , literary quizzes, readings, fiendish mind-games, charades, story-telling, & yes, in true Troubadour cellar-club style, singing into the small hours, & much jiving…

More news of next year’s residential courses here on website — in due course — & by e-mail, if you’ve signed up for our newsletter. You’ll also notice that creative-writing workshops this season repeat some of last season’s titles as so many were disappointed when the new themes booked-up so quickly…

Meanwhile I’m looking forward to the usual high standard of submissions for the (eighth!) Troubadour International Poetry Prize with, for the first time ever, a £5,000 first prize sponsored by Cegin Productions. And looking forward to a great prize-winners event on 1st Dec.

Advance-booking’s particularly recommended for the Roger McGough (plus music, plus interview) night as Roger has such wide appeal, & as our ‘evening-with’ events invariably end as ‘standing-room only’, as with Paul Muldoon, Mark Doty, Billy Collins, Jorie Graham etc…

Read more …

Poems: copyright © various named authors. All rights reserved.

Other content: copyright © Coffee–House Poetry 2008–2014. 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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