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

Smashing opening-night for our celebratory 20th Coffee-House Poetry year, thanks to all 94 of you who braved the kind of downpours we always imagine will affect audiences — but poetry-lovers are more dedicated than that.

And thanks of course, to 8 great poets from as far apart as Cambridge, Bath, Norwich, Cork & Sydney (see readings page, Mon 17 Oct): & a mega thankyou to guest singer (& fine poet), Robert Seatter, who whisked us off to Rick’s Bar in Casablanca, & back to the dreamy ‘Thirties: more surprises throughout the rest of the season.

No problem packing the place on Mon 31 Oct, though, as Troubadour International Poetry Prize Night attracts everyone who’s anyone, bookings coming in already, plus poets & poetry-world guests, of course, & winners from all over the world: you can name-check on prizes page, but you don’t get to see the poems themselves (on poems page) until after they’ve had a chance to collect their winnings and read their outstanding poems on the Troubadour stage alongside judges Jane Yeh & Glyn Maxwell, who will also give us the low-down on what they found ‘winning’ in the prizewinning poems.

Last Sunday’s ‘Yeats’ walk (Sun 16 Oct) was great fun & improbably blessed with brilliant October sunshine when cloudy showers were promised: Oct-Dec themed Sunday Gallery workshops continue on a pop-up basis with only one — A Long, Dark Night (Sun 23 Oct) posted for starters. So do keep an eye on our ’classes’ page & — if you haven’t already — sign up for regular updates!

Looking forward to welcoming all of you on Mon 31 Oct for one of the high points in the poetry year.

readings - oct-dec 2016

mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour

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

  • mon 17 oct: cornucopia: scarlett sabet, paul casey, sue boyle, john greening, afric mcglinchey, heidi williamson, angela kirby & michelle cahill
  • mon 31 oct: troubadour international poetry prize: 2016 judges jane yeh & glyn maxwell read along with prizewinners including abigail parry, kirtsen irving, barbara barnes & many more
  • mon 14 nov: guest-choice: dom bury introduces jon stone, kate wakeling, rachel long, alex mcdonald, & an eclectic set of up-&-coming new voices
  • mon 28 nov: luke kennard, louis jenkins, martina evans. marios takoushis & stuart silver in what we should have said, an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig plus, before the break, live canon’s 154
  • mon 12 dec: here comes the night an end-of-season poetry party with invited guest readers, music & prize-quiz on the theme of darkness, midnight, moonlight…

See full details of this season’s poetry readings

classes - oct-dec 2016

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

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

  • sun 16 oct, 2.30—5 pm: land of heart’s desire: a wb yeats walk with cl dallat
  • sun 23 oct, 12-3.30 pm: a long, dark night: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 13 nov, 12-3.30 pm: a long, dark night: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • check website later for further oct-dec workshops/classes…

See full details of this season’s classes and workshops

next event

mon 31 oct: troubadour international poetry prize: 2016 judges jane yeh & glyn maxwell read along with our 2016 prizewinners including first-prize winner, abigail parry…

Join the poetry world in celebrating the Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2016 hear the £5,000 prizewinning poem from Abigail Parry, plus 2nd, 3rd and 20 more prizewinners (click here for full list), plus this year, for the first time, winners of the two Troubadour-Coffee-House sponsored prizes. And a chance to listen to poems (& comments on the prizewinning poems, & on the business of submitting, & winning!) from the highly-respected judges who made those difficult poem-choices from so many poems submitted from around the world:

  • Glyn Maxwell (b. Welwyn Garden City) was named as a Poetry Book Society ‘New Generation’ poet in 1994 & has written novels, libretti, drama, radio drama, & prose including On Poetry & its sequel Drinks with Dead Poets (Oberon, 2016), as well as editing a collected edition of Derek Walcott’s poetry. Glyn’s nine collections of poetry include a ‘selected poems’, One Thousand Nights and Counting (2011) & his latest, Pluto (Picador,2013).
  • Jane Yeh (b. New Jersey, ed. Harvard University) holds master’s degrees from Iowa Writers’ Workshop & Manchester Metropolitan University. Her first collection Marabou (Carcanet, 2005), was shortlisted for Whitbread, Forward, & Aldeburgh prizes; her latest is The Ninjas, (Carcanet, 2012). She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University & was named a ‘Next Generation’ poet by the Poetry Book Society in 2014.

autumn 2016 news

Date: 18th September 2016

Dear Coffee-House Poetry Fans

Welcome back to the season of mists & mellow fruitfulness as London poet & coffee-house fan, John Keats, described it 200 years ago. And welcome back to the Troubadour Coffee-House, meeting place for London poets for a third of those 200 years with Coffee-House Poetry keeping literature alive & lively for the past 20 years!

(Of course, a number of you haven’t been away from Troubadour Poetry for too long, & in fact are not long back from our two week-long château poetry courses: if ‘course’ is the right word for lunch in the orchard, dinner in the courtyard, music, singing & dancing into the small hours but, no, we did our stuff, workshops every morning, poetry sessions late afternoon & much of the evening entertainment was, in true Troubadour style, poetry readings & literary parlour games.

And where better than the heart of France, with Perseids shooting overhead (& on one occasion bats flying in-&-out of the high château salon windows!) for workshops on ‘darkness’. We’ve a new Sunday Gallery workshop, A Long, Dark Night coming up in October but I’m not sure we can provide the rich, velvety Charente night-sky as backdrop!)

But back to those 20th-year celebrations: & what better way to celebrate than by giving Coffee-House Poetry freebies at events, & by starting the season with free tickets!

Simply book & and pay online for the first event (Mon Oct 17th) on our ‘readings’ page & note which one of the following three events (not including our end of season themed night) you’d like to book for free (use the PayPal ‘Add Note to Seller’ option while you’re paying).

Watch out for surprise guest contributions, too, as part of this year’s 20th-anniversary buzz, guests from the worlds of music, film, theatre, all with poetry connections & a love of poetry, coming along to add to our celebrations: special guest(s) at every event &, as with proper surprises, we won’t be announcing in advance, you just have to be there.

And, as always, get down to the cellar-club to hear all that’s happening poetry-wise including a range of new poetry voices at all our events: & a particular take on the zeitgeist in our new programme strand, Troubadour Guest Choice, where a poet-of-the-moment creates an event reflecting their current personal/critical choices—starting with Dom Bury’s programme on Mon 14th Nov.

Dom, already well known to Troubadour cellar-club crowds for his front-of-house presence on poetry nights & his perceptive ear when it comes to Poem of the Night at our party readings, is also a 2016 Eric Gregory Award winner, &, as a poet/critic with his finger on the pulse, is first choice to ‘guest-host’

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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