“… 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 last night’s poets (who double as bloggers, critics, editors, & teachers/professors in Poetry & Creative Writing) for four great readings & a fascinating debate on our colloquy theme, the poem as selfie-stick (Mon 8th). A wide-ranging discussion on how we see ourselves, portray ourselves in poetry: is that our own voice or a fictionalised version, is truth/authenticity relevant, can we voice/use/steal others’ stories…? The poets talked of their own work & practice, drew comparison with theatre, fiction, life-writing, visual arts, & references, quotations, theories, & examples abounded – from Rimbaud, TS Eliot, Glyn Maxwell, Rembrandt, Galway Kinnell, Tracy Emin, John Hewitt, Caravaggio & Ted Hughes, with some incisive audience Q&A, & the conclusions were fascinating, reflective, validating for contributors, for audience, & for poetry…
This Sunday’s Edge of the Depths workshop (Sun 14th), just announced, is filling up nicely. Our next big thing, of course, is that our 2016 £5,000 Troubadour International Poetry Prize news is up on our prizes page with submission dates & info on this year’s judges, Jane Yeh & Glyn Maxwell, & poems starting to arrive already!
Amazingly — with winter-salon/new-writing-showcase & our colloquy evening just past — we’re halfway through Spring 2016 & looking forward to the spoken-word-&-music experience that is What We Should Have Said (see below). A unique — & uniquely fast-moving — impromptu poetry & music format.
See you all on Sun 14th or Mon 22nd…
mon 22 feb: malika booker, peter sansom, paul maddern, huw warren & 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
Sponsored by Cegin Productions
Further adventures & extravagations in yet another episode of the Troubadour’s unique Cegin-sponsored poetry segué with musical & philosophical interventions…
- writer/perfomer/director Stuart Silver offers his own idiosyncratic take on life & its meanings,
- pianist Huw Warren creates a classical/jazz counterpoint to the poetry pulse…
- & providing the spontaneous, off-the-cuff, un-prescheduled poetic foreground, our three guest poets:
- Malika Booker spans literature & education, & crosses genres, disciplines & art-forms: she toured with Bittersweet (1999/2000); featured in Kin (Barbican, 2004); her musical play Catwalk ran at Tricycle (2001) plus UK tour; & her latest poetry collection is Pepper Seed (Peepal Tree, 2013);
- Peter Sansom is a director of The Poetry Business where he edits (with Ann Sansom) The North magazine and Smith/Doorstop books: he is also guest poet at TES, company poet with the Prudential, & writer-in-residence with Marks & Spencer. He has published Writing Poems (Bloodaxe) & five collections with Carcanet including Selected Poems (2010)
- Paul Maddern was born in Bermuda and lived in Canada, the USA, and England before moving to Ireland in 2000. In 2009, he was a winner in the Templar Poetry pamphlet competition with Kelpdings. His 2010 collection, The Beachcomber’s Report was shortlisted for the Eithne and Rupert Strong Award for Best First Collection.
- plus, before the break, a selection of 2015 & previous Troubadour International Poetry Prize Winners including: Sue Rose, Katy Mack, Tiffany Tondut, June Lausch, Diana Pooley, Rishi Dastidar, Alex Josephy, Josh Ekroy, Barbara Marsh, Richard Meier, Pam Johnson, Martyn Crucefix, Jacqueline Saphra, Jenny Vuglar, Karen Green, Rachel Piercey, Mara Bergman, Caroline Smith & Louise Warren
readings - jan-mar 2016
mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour
- mon 25 jan: salon d’hiver with jessica traynor, kate bingham, tamar yoseloff, carole bromley, lesley saunders, owen lewis, greg freeman & maura dooley with henry fajemirokun
- mon 8 feb: the poem as selfie-stick: a coffee-house colloquy with fiona sampson, r.a. villanueva, fiona moore, tim liardet & c.l. dallat
- mon 22 feb: malika booker, peter sansom, paul maddern, huw warren & 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 7 mar: the sea, the sea: invited guest poets read their own & others’ poems of sea & shore, of bays & boats, of tides & tempests plus sea-themed music & nautical prize quiz
classes - jan-mar 2016
sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 at the troubadour
- sun 31 jan, 12-3.30 pm: the thing with feathers: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe
- sun 14 feb, 12-3.30 pm: edge of the depths: themed writing workshop anne-marie fyfe
- check website later (or join our newsletter e-list) for details of more jan-mar 2016 workshops/classes t.b.a.
- sat 13—sat 20 aug, poetry course (residential) with anne-marie fyfe & co-tutor cl dallat at château l’age baston
- sat 20—sat 27 aug, poetry course (residential) with anne-marie fyfe & co-tutor cl dallat at château l’age baston
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