“… 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
Thanks to everyone who made Monday night’s “Evening With John Montague’s Poetry” such a classic, thoughtful, moving, persuasive, discursive – & fun – event, in John’s absence (due to illness). Thanks to all those who read & who’ve loved, studied, & loved hearing John’ poetry &/or have met him over his many years as the leading Irish poet of his generation — & American/cosmopolitan poet as we were reminded, as he was born in Brooklyn &, despite ‘belonging’ to the North of Ireland, much of his development was inspired by Iowa, Berkeley, Dublin, Paris…
Thanks especially to Maurice Riordan, one of a Cork University generation whose literary lives were enlivened by John’s abounding energies in all the arts. And thanks, too, to John for the message he sent on Sunday night, a poignant reflection on rooms, on missing that famous Troubadour room, on experience of hospital rooms… and a fragment, a beginning that might just be on its way to being another great poem.
Party night next, Mon 9 Mar, see below, don’t miss!
mon 9 mar: big yellow taxi! themed spring/easter reading on yellowhammers, yellow bicycles, yellow brick roads (& just possibly daffodils!) with invited guest poets, music, prize-quiz
After winter’s ‘blue’ what better hue to signal our spring season (and start our Easter break) than the yellows of sweetcorn, buttercups & egg-yolks: not to mention yellow cabs, smileys & custard.
But yellow doesn’t have it all its own sunshiny way. There’s that jinxing one-eyed yellow idol, &, topically, mustard gas: there’s the perjorative ‘yellow-bellied’, & being shown the yellow card & a host of literary & cultural references from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Yellow Wallpaper & Gaston Leroux’s Mystery of the Yellow Room through Aldous Huxley’s Crome Yellow by way of Martin Amis’ Yellow Dog to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun.
Poets certainly spotted yellow in nature — Wordsworth’s host of golden daffodils, the blackbird’s bright yellow beak (in an 11th-century Belfast poem), James Fenton’s Yellow Tulips & Michael Longley’s Gorse Fires, with Yeats wishing men would love Anne Gregory for yourself alone/ and not your yellow hair. But subtler yellows often prevail, with paint-box variations including mimosas, primroses, jasmines, jonquils & ochres — & colour-chart imaginations running to Wild Primrose, Maize, Happy Daze, El Dorado, Egyptian Sand & Lemon Punch.
Lyricisits clearly find yellow’s trochaic mellifluity irresistible with several yellow brick roads, yellow suns, rivers & birds, yellow roses & even a yellow submarine. So there’s the chance to go for gold in our the-answer’s-a-lemon prize quiz with music to match the mellow-yellow mood!
readings - jan-jun 2015
mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour
- mon 26 jan: salon d’hiver with rishi dastidar, kate ghyll, agnieszka studzinska, soul patel, angela kirby, jacqueline saphra, nick mackinnon & laura scott with henry fajemirokun
- mon 9 feb: blake morrison, theo dorgan, mona arshi, marios takoushis & stuart silver in what we should have said, an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig plus before the break… a selection of troubadour international poetry prize winners
- mon 23 feb: an evening with john montague: rare chance to hear major irish poet john montague reading & in-interview, with songs from world runners, josie frater & steve taylor
- john montague is unwell & unable to attend: we’re having, instead, an evening with john montague’s poetry at which guest poets who know john &/or were influenced/inspired by his work will each read a poem with, after the break, a round-table discussion with c.l. dallat, maurice riordan & others…
- mon 9 mar: big yellow taxi! themed spring/easter reading on yellowhammers, yellow bicycles, yellow brick roads (& just possibly daffodils!) with invited guest poets, music, prize-quiz
- easter break
- mon 11 may: spring into summer with r.a. villanueva, miranda peake, inua ellams, tim richardson, scarlett sabet, will burns, roisin tierney, & mark huband with henry fajemirokun
- mon 25 may: what we should have said: an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig with michelle boisseau, robert seatter, francis leviston, marios takoushis & stuart silver
- mon 8 jun: smiths knoll pamphlets: with phil hancock, marianne burton, stephen payne, lydia harris, chris dodd, margaret wilmot, philip polecoff, kath mckay & andrew kerr introduced by michael laskey & joanna cutts
- mon 22 jun: too darn hot! invited guest poets celebrate broiling city summers, simmering heatwaves, shimmering mirages, parched deserts & tropical weather: plus music & prize-quiz
for advance booking: pay via PayPal on our readings page or 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
classes - jan-jun 2015
sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 at the troubadour (yeats walk, sun 21st jun 12-2.30 pm, £18)
- sun 8 feb: the magic of realism: neruda, vallejo & paz with c.l. dallat
- sun 22 feb: a bridge too far: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
- may/jun workshops, further details to follow
- sun 21 jun: land of heart’s desire: a w.b. yeats walk with c.l. dallat
- full programme details below PayPal options
advance booking only as our workshops/classes (limited to 15 attendees) are frequently oversubscribed: pay via PayPal on our workshops/classes page or send cheque payable to Coffee-House Poetry (no credit cards) to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON, W4 1ZP