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

Delighted to bring you news of Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2016 winners and their winning titles (see prizes). Many thanks to this year’s judges, Jane Yeh & Glyn Maxwell (both of whom you’ll have a chance to hear reading their own celebrated work & talking about the winning poems on Prize Night, Monday 31st October, at the Troubadour alongside prizewinners themselves) & huge congratulations to all the winning poets!

(Full text of the winning poems will appear on our poems page after Prize Night.)

Hope you’re all having a great — and poetically productive — summer: will see some of you on our courses in France in the next few weeks (see classes page) & all of you, no doubt, back in the famous cellar-club in October to kick off our twentieth great year of Coffee-House Poetry.

Until October, then…

readings - may-jun 2016

mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour

for advance booking: pay via PayPal (below programme details) or send cheque payable to Coffee-House Poetry at PO Box 16210, LONDON, W4 1ZP

  • mon 9 may: across oceans: with d. nurkse, geraldine paine, lynne hjelmgaard, paul deaton, robert peake, claire williamson & joshua weiner plus henry fajemirokun
  • mon 23 may: sarah howe, michael symmons roberts, caitriona o’reilly, marios takoushis & stuart silver in what we should have said, an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig plus, before the break, faber academy poets
  • mon 6 jun: the end of the page?: a coffee-house colloquy, with hannah lowe, gregory leadbetter, richard price, carrie etter & c.l. dallat
  • mon 20 jun: the hidden life of cities: An end-of-season poetry party with invited guest readers, music & prize-quiz

See full details of this season’s poetry readings

classes - may-jun 2016

sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 at the troubadour (yeats walk £18 from ravenscourt park tube)

  • sun 15 may, 12-3.30 pm: invisible cities: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 29 may, 12-3.30 pm: invisible cities: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 5 jun, 12-3.30 pm: invisible cities: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 12 jun, 12-3.30 pm: so far from home: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 12 jun, 12-3.30 pm: so far from home: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 19 jun, 2.30—5 pm: land of heart’s desire: a wb yeats walk with cl dallat
  • sun 26 jun, 2.30—5 pm: land of heart’s desire: a wb yeats walk with cl dallat

& coming up…

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

See full details of this season’s classes and workshops

next event

mon 20 jun: the hidden life of cities: An end-of-season poetry party with invited guest readers, music & prize-quiz

The most visible, obvious, populous places on the planet, our urban spaces nonetheless abound in hidden quarters, from lost subterranean workings, abandoned bunkers, unused underground tunnels, forgotten alleyways, closed-up shops, secret corners of railinged parks, a night-time roofscape of chimney-pots & parapets…

… to a vanished address in Berlin, an overgrown courtyard in the 8th arrondissement, a figure in a dimly-lit Venetian passagio, a children’s playground amid Manhattan skyscrapers, the 2 am cyclist on Blackfriars Bridge…a couple disappearing into the glow of a Waterloo Sunset, Eliot’s passageways, Wordsworth’s London lying still at dawn or Hopper’s Nighthawks café.

Come to the city’s liveliest cellar-club hotspot & hear invited guest poets read favourite poems, their own & those by famous poets fascinated by the city’s hidden life… Listen to city-themed music & join in our ‘sous-les’pavés’ prize quiz!

summer 2016 news

Date: 21st April 2016

Dear Coffee-House Poetry Supporters

Great to be back from the sunny California coastline just as summer (& cherry blossom) breaks out all over West London & Monday evening drinks-before-poetry in the Troubadour garden beckon: followed, of course, by the coolest cellar-club poetry, the hottest ticket in town, in this run-up to our extra-special celebratory twentieth Troubadour autumn!

So back (appropriately, after 6 weeks across the Atlantic, much of it up on Facebook) to one of our long-standing Coffee-House Poetry aims, widening the boundaries of the poetry we hear here in London as 9th May’s Across Oceans brings together a mix of American, British, British-American & American/European voices, ranging from names such as D. Nurkse & Joshua Weiner with their numerous publications to great new poets with first collections & debut pamphlets.

All part of Coffee-House Poetry’s widening scope with the international Troubadour Prize, an anthology project, taking the What We Should Have Said spoken-word-&-music format on the road, our two residential weeks in the Charente this August, & plans for future courses in other suitably inspirational locations.

Few line-ups could be more exciting in awards terms, though, than bringing together this year’s TS Eliot Prize-winner, Sarah Howe, with this year’s Irish Times Poetry Now-winner, Caitriona O’Reilly, plus multi-award-winner Michael Symmons Roberts, all swopping ideas from the ether in Coffee-House Poetry’s unstoppable poetry impromptu, the unique What We Should Have Said segué, inspired by Perrier-Award-winning writer-director Stuart Silver, sparkling with the imaginative inventions & interventions of film-&-TV composer Marios Takoushis (Best Music At 5th Malataya Film Festival): a starry, starry night…

And our Bohemian Earls Court coffee-house remains, as it’s been since its inception in the ‘50s, & as London’s coffee-houses have always been, a place not just to hear outstanding poetry but to consider the state-of-the-poetic-art in stimulating, controversial Colloquies. This season our four protagonists, all leading poets & thinkers, exchange ideas & invite opinions on the relative merits of print vs online poetry publication, surf-world vs slim-volume, hypertext vs hard copy, in a significant battleground for poetry’s future. After, of course, giving us a taste-of-the-poetic-art in the first half!

And while the Troubadour’s long been one of London’s best-known cellar-clubs, few city-dwellers can fail to be fascinated by the hidden life of cities lurking behind shuttered stores, abandoned warehouses, in railway arches, down cellar steps, up narrow alleyways, along forgotten footpaths,

Read more …

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

Other content: copyright © Coffee–House Poetry 2008–2016. 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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