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

First thing’s to remind everyone that submissions deadline for Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2018 is Mon 22nd Oct so if you haven’t submitted poems (or even if you have — remember you can submit as often as you like, & as many poems as you wish) do check out prizes/judges/rules on our prizes. You could be one of the prizewinners invited to receive your prize & read on the Troubadour stage along with our 2018 judges Jo Shapcott & Daljit Nagra at Troubadour International Poetry Prize Night on Mon 26th Nov!

And after that… yes, thanks, we did have a great US-poetry-themed opening night, some Dylan-esque/Simon-ish music, an S&G song from Henry Fajemirokun, incredibly varied & compelling contemporary poem selections from 18 regular Troubadours, real/essential poetry issues in the interview/conversation with J Chester Johnson (centre in pic) & Elizabeth Powell (left) ranging around the American Dream, state-of-the-union, state-of-the-art, even relevance of the art, with Chester – despite his collaboration with WH Auden- refuting Auden’s claim that poetry makes nothing happen.

So what’s next: only six of the best new poets around, backed by new work from 21 current Troubadour favourites on Mon 29 Oct, to be followed by my own words&music performance The Voyage Out on a last (extra) gig at the Troubadour after a year’s coast-&-island-hopping to locations (poetry-groups, arts centres/centers, libraries, etc) in Suffolk, Cornwall, Devon, Antrim, Cork, Wexford, Wales, Scottish Highlands & Islands, Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, Maine & Nova Scotia. The project started ‘at home’ in Cushendall on the Antrim Coast where I grew up, so bringing it ‘home’ to the Troubadour — supported by 21 Troubadour poets with newly written sea/coastal/island poems — seems like the perfect end to ‘the voyage’, a fitting homecoming.

The new two-part workshop (with radical new homework assignment between the two #sundaygallery dates) has proved incredibly popular & I’ll be posting two new dates, a second two-parter+assignment workshop, on the #sundaygallery classes page in the next few days! And who knows how many of the new poems from those Arctic explorations (the workshop’s titled Minds of Snow) will end up — alongside some familiar/canonical snow-poems — at our suitably-seasonal Mon 12th Dec No Snowflakes wrap party (+music, quiz etc)

But first… prize submissions by Mon 22nd & be there, for The Best New Writing on Mon 29 Oct!

#sundaygallery classes & courses - oct-dec 2018

  • sun 14 & sun 28 oct, 12-3.30 pm: minds of snow: two-part themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

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

See full details of classes and workshops

next event

mon 29 oct, 8pm: the best new writing with fiona moore, scarlett sabet, oliver comins, mara bergman, fiona larkin, & bryony littlefair, plus troubadour-poets with new poems…

Six guest poets currently making waves, & readings of new work from a few of our Troubadour regulars:

  • just out from Happenstance, Fiona Moore’s first collection The Distal Point is a PBS Autumn Recommendation following pamphlets, The Only Reason for Time (a Guardian book-of-the-year) & (Michael Marks shortlisted) Night Letter
  • Scarlett Sabet, London-based poet/performer, has read at The Groucho, Shakespeare & Co & William Morris House: her third collection, Zoreh was launched at San Francisco’s City Lights this spring
  • after three pamphlets, Yes to Everything, Staying in Touch & Battling Against the Odds, Oliver Comins – from Kenilworth but now lives & works in London –launched his first full collection, Oak Fish Island in May 2018
  • launched this summer, Mara Bergman’s debut collection The Disappearing Room follows Crossing Into Tamil Nadu, & The Tailor’s Three Sons and Other New York Poems (which won the Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet Competition)
  • Fiona Larkin’s poems have appeared in Magma, The North, Under the Radar, Best New British and Irish Poets 2018 & In Transit: Poems of Travel (Emma Press): she has a Creative Writing MA from Royal Holloway, & is working on a first collection
  • poet, blogger, project co-ordinator for The Reader – & former cupcake-baker, editorial assistant & dementia support worker – Bryony Littlefair has had poems in Popshot, The Cadaverine, Clear Poetry & Ink, Sweat and Tears
  • new poems from new & established Troubadour poets Jenny Wong, Stuart Carswell, Ali Thurm, Ellen Morrissey, Michael Harris, Tim Waller, Karen Littleton, Kevin Connelly, Steve Boorman, Sarah Van Gogh, Jean Hall, Soul Patel, Lady Poe, Audrey Ardern-Jones, Gillie Robic, Paul Crichton, Angela Kirby, Lesley Saunders, ME Muir, Robin Houghton, & Wendy French

#poetrymondays - oct-dec 2018

mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour

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

  • mon 15 oct, 8pm: to look for america, with j chester jonson, elizabeth powell, & 20 troubadour poets reading current us poetry
  • mon 29 oct, 8pm: the best new writing with fiona moore, scarlett sabet, oliver comins, mara bergman, fiona larkin, & bryony littlefair, plus troubadour-poets with new poems…
  • mon 12 nov, 8pm: the voyage out with anne-marie fyfe, cahal dallat, & 21 new maritime poems written by guest poets
  • mon 26 nov, 8pm: troubadour international poetry prize night: 2018 judges jo shapcott & daljit nagra read with 2018 prizewinners
  • mon 10 dec: no snowflakes: a themed poetry-party with invited guest readers, music & prize quiz

See full details of poetry readings

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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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