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

Yes! The word is out! Our fabulous, diligent, & experienced Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2018 judges, Jo Shapcott & Daljit Nagra, have come up with 10 great winners for our sponsored poetry prizes & 3 outstanding poems for 1st/2nd/3rd places, all of which you can read — winners’ names, poem titles, the poems themselves, longlist names, & judges’ reports — on our poems page.

And what an amazing Prize Night on Monday — with Jo & Daljit’s readings, plus their incisive views on what makes a poem rise to the top of such an incredibly high-quality stack. Of course we heard the winning submissions, many from poets who’d flown-in or trained-in from far & near for the occasion, & heard some read by guest poets (Karen McCarthy Woolf, Tim Dooley, & Mona Arshi) for those winners who couldn’t be here: our first prize winner, for example, was in mid-air from Singapore to Perth when the announcement was made!

Season’s last workshop’s the #sundaygallery 2nd-session of the second group signed-up for the dazzling, surreal, challenging two-parter, Minds of Snow, (now fully booked) with its new-writing/new/genres assignment.

And the season’s last #poetrymonday is, as ever, a poetry party with — this time — a chance to chill, that’s No Snowflakes, Mon 10 Dec. Hear what intrepid invited guest poets make of snowdrifts, blizzards, & icy Arctic wastes — their own poems or those by famous poetic explorers of the sub-zero psyche. Come along for a warm Troubadour welcome, and the opportunity to pit your winter wits against our not-too-serious prize quiz (to win warm reds & cool, cool whites, wine-wise) … & listen/ To hear sleigh-bells in the snow & similarly seasonal interval music.

Booking now on #poetrymondays page see you there!

#sundaygallery classes & courses - oct-dec 2018

  • sun 14 oct & sun 28 oct, 12-3.30 pm: minds of snow: two-part themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 11 nov & sun 9 dec, 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 10 dec: no snowflakes: a themed poetry-party with invited guest readers, music & prize quiz

Snow-poems – like snow-scene paintings – can wallow in slushy sentiment, in a calm & contemplative blanket, in a world made temporarily beautiful: or they can swirl us into a blizzard of darkness, drifts, treacherous roads & pathways, the misery of isolation, of cut-offness, the ugliness of thaw & floods.

Captain Oates, of course, meets an icy end with composure in Derek Mahon’s Antarctica, but perhaps the ubiquity, the depressions, the impracticality/impossibility of snow in Jenni Diski’s Skating to Antarctica, in the Leningrad of Gillian Slovo’s The Ice Road, in Karl Ove Knausgård’s native Norway, in Northern Exposure’s Alaska, in the Coen brothers’ Fargo (North Dakota), all offer a realistic corrective to David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars, to Don McLean’s virgin snow, Paul Simon’s silent cloud of freshly fallen snow, to Irving Berlin’s sleighbell-tinkling White Christmas (although Ocean Vuong’s Aubade with Burning City has already taken those delicate snowflakes to new places…)

Whether your feelings for snow are closer to Karl Ove’s or to those of Peter Hoeg’s Miss Smilla, you’ll enjoy hearying our guest-poets’ snow-inspired selections & creations, their own poems, or those by famous poets, discovering whose wins the evening’s bonus-prize, listening to snow-themed music (& not just Irving Berlin or Dr. Zhivago), & testing your degrees of snow-ology in our not-too-serious prize-quiz!

#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

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

Other content: copyright © Coffee–House Poetry 2008–2018. 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.

Website created and hosted by Lab 99 Web Design.