“… 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
Still buzzing from the excitement of our Bank Holiday Monday poetry explosion with What We Should Have Said AND LetterPress Poets (check out who’s-who on my FB page) but already looking forward to a visit from another high-calibre troupe of Troubadours from Smiths Knoll Pamphlets led by editors Michael Laskey & Joanna Cutts — frequent visitors when Smiths Knoll was the poet’s poetry magazine. Now they’re into publishing more substantial sequences & will introduce nine of their latest & best pamphleteers, some already Coffee-House Poetry favourites, some you may not have heard from yet but certainly will in the future…
And don’t forget to check out our £5,000 annual Troubadour International Poetry Prize with judges Jean Sprackland & Adam O’Riordan on our prizes page, other cellar-club events on the readings page, workshops etc on the classes page, or join our regular e-list if you’re not already receiving the e-mails!
See you all again for another dazzling poetry evening on Mon 8th!
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
Joanna Cutts & Michael Laskey publish pamphlets under the Smiths Knoll imprint, initially as end products of a year-long mentoring scheme & now — since the much-loved magazine closed down in 2012 —helping poets whose work they have published & admired to put together short collections.
- Philip Hancock’s Hearing Ourselves Think (Smiths Knoll 2009) was a Guardian Book of the Year 2010: he has since featured OxfordPoets (Carcanet, 2010) and his short film/poem Jelly Baby was screened at the Budapest Short Film Festival.
- Lawyer Marianne Burton’s The Devil’s Cut (Smiths Knoll, 2007) was a PBS pamphlet choice: She Inserts the Key (Seren) was shortlisted for Forward Best First Collection 2013.
- Stephen Payne teaches Computer Science at the University of Bath: his 2010 Smiths Knoll pamphlet The Probabilities of Balance will be followed this year by a full collection from HappenStance.
- Lydia Harris lives on the Orkney island of Westray: Glad Not To Be The Corpse was the final Smiths Knoll mentorship scheme pamphlet in 2012.
- Chris Dodd is poetry editor of Canadian magazine Freefall, has lived in Trinidad, near the Rockies in Alberta, Canada, in Houston, Texas & now lives back in the UK: his at-present-untitled Smiths Knoll pamphlet will be launched at this event!
- Margaret Wilmot (b. California, educ. Univ. Berkeley) taught TEFL in the Mediterranean & New York, now lives in Sussex. Sweet Coffee (Smiths Knoll, 2013) is her first pamphlet.
- Philip Pollecoff grew up in Birmingham, now lives in Chorleywood & works as a lawyer. His first pamphlet is Carry This With You At All Times (Smiths Knoll, 2013).
- Novelist/short-story–writer Kath McKay lectures in creative writing. Her first collection, Anyone Left Standing, winner of 1998 Poetry Business competition, was followed by Telling the Bees (Smiths Knoll, 2014).
- Andrew Kerr from Huddersfield studied religion & anthropology, & now works with drug & alcohol users in West Yorkshire. Sweet Talk (Smiths Knoll, 2015) came out in January.
readings - may-jun 2015
mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour
- 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, frances leviston, huw warren & stuart silver—plus, before the break… letterpresspoets: daphne astor, patrizia longhitano, angela croft, mark huband, teresa mayoub, george beddow, bear shaw, gill petrie, fiona larkin, jim alderson, angela croft, katherine lockton, kate ghyll, derek summers, katy mack, caroline donnelly, mel hormead, marian fielding, michael baron, janet remmington, mary powell
- 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 - may-jun 2015
sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 at the troubadour (yeats walk, sun 21st jun 2.30-5 pm, £18)
- may/jun workshops, further details to follow
- sun 14 jun: a bridge too far: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
- 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: if overbooked you will be informed by e-mail & refunded promptly