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 classic Troubadour poetry-night last night with a superb summer-in-the-city vibe, amazing audience, some super poets from Daljit Nagra and Jo Shapcott’s Faber Academy class of 2016 & a truly exhilarating display of connectedness & consequentiality as our What We Should Have Said poets, Sarah Howe, Michael Symmons Roberts & Caitriona O’Reilly, swopped impromptu ideas & responses with Stuart Silver’s philosophical disquisitions & Huw Warren’s musical improvisations.

And do get down here on Mon 6th for the next in our Coffee-House Colloquies series where four poets (see right) debate the state-of-the-art, this time in relation to virtual versification & the long-predicted end of the printed page (or not)!

Re: Sunday workshops in the Gallery, Sun 29th’s rerun of Invisible Cities is almost full (obviously great feedback from last session): to book this one see classes page.

Don’t forget the fast approaching Tue 21 June deadline for our tenth Troubadour International Poetry Prize, with judges Jane Yeh & Glyn Maxwell: check out our £7,000 & more in prizes, plus rules/dates/info etc

All set for a great poetry season!

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 19 jun, 2.30—5 pm: land of heart’s desire: a wb yeats walk with cl dallat
  • check website later for further may-jun workshops/classes…

& 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

clockwise: richard price, carrie etter, c.l. dallat, greg leadbetter & hannah lowe

next event

mon 6 jun: the end of the page?: a coffee-house colloquy, with hannah lowe, gregory leadbetter, richard price, carrie etter & c.l. dallat

We all read more & more poems on e-zines & blogs, via e-mails, on poets’ & poetry orgs’ sites & apps, even on social media, as well as consuming whole collections on Kindle, i-Phone or Android.

Fiction & journalism are already registering the impact of change from print to digital… but will poets & their readers still hanker after a ‘proper’ printed page, hold out for the perfect font, crisp endpapers, the heft of a slim volume, the avoirdupois of a lifetime’s collected? Or are we perfectly happy to right-click on link after hyperlink, to Google & surf our way through sonnets & sestinas?

Do new platforms positively increase poetry’s scope? And what’s the negative impact on sales at readings, on book signings? Bring your webworld thoughts, hopes & worries for/about virtual poetry to our Troubadour colloquy, hear four state-of-the-art poets read from their latest (print) collections & join in the biggest poetry publishing debate since Gutenburg!

  • Chick from Next-Gen poet Hannah Lowe won the 2015 Michael Murphy Memorial Award, Long Time, No See was a 2015 BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week & Chan is due from Bloodaxe in June
  • Director of Inst. of Creative & Critical Writing at Birmingham City Univ, Gregory Leadbetter was a scriptwriter on BBC drama Silver Street, writes on Coleridge, & has published The Body in the Well (Happenstance, 2007)
  • Richard Price has worked with musicians, sculptors & digital artists & is British Library Head of Contemporary British Collections (including print, digital, manuscripts, & sound); latest poetry publication, Small World (Carcanet, 2012)
  • Bath Spa University Senior Lecturer Carrie Etter (b. Illinois) edited Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman) & has published 7 books of poetry including Imagined Sons (Seren, 2014)
  • chaired by poet & BBC R4 Saturday Review critic, C.L. Dallat, latest, The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff, 2009)

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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